The motorcycle racing junior classes throughout the globe are seeing a resurgence as FIM and the racing community as a whole looks towards a brighter future with talent coming out from all over the world. Gone are the days where a few countries had a dominance on the motorcycle racing circuit. With the MotoAmerica’s efforts and designs to rebuild an American presence in international motorcycle racing and the Shell Advance Cup for bright youngsters to ride and show their worth to race in the premier class, we are on verge of a much needed overhaul in the racing junior classes.
In what comes as a good news for females riders in the European Union, the FIM Women’s European Cup has been folded into the European Junior Cup, which runs alongside the World Superbike Championship. Running alongside the EJC (European Junior Class) as its own class, young female riders won’t have to decide between the two series, as they will score points in both. This relieves young ladies from having to choose between racing with just the girls, or the boys on an equal playing field, as now they will be doing both.
Establishing the European Junior Cup in 2011, the talent-grooming series has undergone many changes since its inception with spec-Kawasaki bikes. Now called the PATA European Junior Cup, young European riders race on identical Honda CBR650F sport bikes, at eight rounds on the WSBK calendar. Starting on the same grid, the EJC will also have its hands on developing female racing talent, as female EJC riders will be able to earn points in both the EJC and Women’s cup.
Gerry Bryce, Series Director for the Pata European Junior Cup, commented: “We’re really happy and excited to announce this new initiative to encourage young women into motorcycle racing. Over the past years we have had several talented female racers competing in the Pata European Junior Cup, so it’s great to extend that involvement into a new championship.”
There are some caveats with age though, as the Women’s European Cup is open to female racers aged between 14 and 23 years, while the upper age limit for the PATA European Junior Cup male riders is now set at 21 years.
“We can now offer the incentive of an affordable and unique women’s championship whilst still competing with the young men on equal terms and on equal Honda machinery. The age increase for male riders follows the recent changes to other classes and is a positive move to offer even more young racers the opportunity to compete and develop their skills at an international level,” Bryce added.
Hopefully with the new class structures and rules in place, female riders will not only be able to showcase their on-track talents to a larger crowd, but also test their mettle against other girls, as well as the boys, as it should be.