The World Superbike Championship‘s European Junior Cup youth racing series will switch to race-prepped KTM 690 Duke motorcycles for 2012 from the Kawasaki Ninja 250R racebikes used in its inaugural 2011 season.

The rebranded KTM European Junior Cup will be open to riders 14-19 and will be held at eight WSBK rounds in 2012. The series was conceived as an entry point for young racers, providing them opportunities to develop their skills before moving up to higher classes such as the World Superstock Championship and beyond.

The Cup was first introduced during the 2011 season, with six rounds in the opening season and was open to riders 14-17. 2011 European Cup Champion Matt Davies will be competing in the 2012 European Superstock 600 for the Italy-based Go Eleven Kawasaki team.

The European Junior Cup-spec KTM 690 Duke racebikes will be equipped with WP fully-adjustable front and rear race suspension, lightweight Marchesini wheels, Akropovic full exhaust systems, Brembo racing brakes, APTC slipper clutches and other components from KTM’s power parts catalog. The racebikes will have a dry weight of 140kg (308.6 pounds) and a power output of 77.9hp.

Series organizers will arrange for transportation of motorcycles and equipment to race circuits. Former WSBK racer Simon Crafar will return as head coach for the riders. Racers will receive lessons on riding techniques and learn from guest lectures from WSBK and World Supersport racers.

Provisional 2012 KTM European Junior Cup Calendar:

  • Pre-season training Cartagena, Spain. March 19-21
  • Holland, Assen – April 22
  • Italy, Monza – May 6
  • Italy, Misano – June 10
  • Spain, Aragon – July 1
  • Czech Republic, Brno – July 22
  • United Kingdom, Silverstone – August 5
  • Germany, Nurburgring – September 9
  • France, Magny Cours – October 7

Races will be held between the World Supersport race and the second WSBK race of each round.

[Source: WSBK; Photo by Barbanti A.]