Red Bull MotoGP Academy at Albacete
One of the reasons I was excited to go to Albacete last weekend was because I would see the Red Bull MotoGP Academy at work. The school is run by Alberto Puig to find and develop new riders from foreign countries. It is pure genius at work, to see if a countries viewership will increaase should there be a young rider from that country competing in MotoGP. As well as classroom instruction and various types of riding instruction (dirt/supermoto/trials/etc), the school competes in the Spanish National 125 Championship. It is a very demanding series and only the best will shine in the category. The school has already produced some stellar pilots, most notably Dani Pedrosa, and later, Bradley Smith. Pedrosa currently rides for the Repsol Honda HRC team in MotoGP while Bradley Smith contests the 125GP class, also under the Repsol wing. Other notables involved with the school are Santi, formerly of Showa Suspension (and previously having worked with a number of high level teams, like Gresini's) and Juan Martinez, chief mechanic for Sete Gibernau.
Here we see young rider getting advice from the former 500GP rider, Alberto Puig.
A closer look reveals the rider had a nasty get-off and is icing his wrists.
And man, I really get a kick out of seeing the bikes up close. I'd love to see the school facilities in person one day and do a full report/article on it. I think this is a perfect example of how other countries are doing things to improve their riders of the future. Why doesn't the US have anything like this?!?
The resolution isn't that good with this collage shot, but it give you an idea of how hard this youngster is manhandling his Honda RS125. He ended up fourth in the 125 class this last race, which is a highly contested category here in Spain, and a nice achievement at his age. In fact, I think there were a large number of 12 year olds ripping around the track!