Devitt backs young racer Max Cook as he heads to Europe next week to compete in the first round of the prestigious Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at Jerez, as part of the World Championship MotoGP weekend.
The Red Bull Rookies MotoGP Cup is a recognised ‘Road to MotoGP’ and provides young riders from around the world a huge opportunity to make their dream of becoming a MotoGP rider a reality. Red Bull Rookies provide a bike, all the kit, coaching and infrastructure to enable young racers to race at MotoGP events and improve their race-craft to prepare them for life in a MotoGP paddock.
The Rookies Cup has been the starting point for many world class riders and world champions such as Johann Zarco, Danny Kent, Joan Mir, Brad Binder and many more. This is the 12th year of the Rookies Cup and 24 young racers from 17 countries will contest the championship on equal KTM 250cc 4-stroke Moto3 machines at 7 European MotoGP rounds.
Flying the Union Jack
Devitt is proud to sponsor 15 year old Max Cook, who is the only English rider in the championship and will proudly be flying the Union Jack on his bike and leathers. After securing the British Moto3 Standard Class Championship last year, Max was sensationally selected to ride for the Red Bull Rookies late last year at their annual selection event in Almeria, Spain.
The selection event is hugely popular and normally receives thousands of applications from young racers all around the world. The Red Bull Rookie team then shortlist all the applicants to around 100 to 150, who are then invited to the selection event. The event lasts for 3 days and riders are assessed on track and eliminated each day.
The final day normally consists of 40 to 50 of the best riders from the previous 2 days and they are assessed on track. The final 10-15 riders who are invited to take part in the Rookies Cup are announced at the end of the day after a nervous and anxious wait for the riders.
As mentioned before Max went through this process last year and was successfully selected. He admits “…it was probably the most nerve wracking moment I’ve had, waiting for the organisers and senior coaches to make their decision, but the feeling I felt when they read out my name was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had and is one of the highlights of my career so far.”
Learning curve ahead
In Max’s first year he will be competing against 24 of the most talented young riders in the world at 7 MotoGP round across Europe. Not only will he be learning MotoGP circuits, he will also be learning a new bike as all the rookies race on equal KTM Moto3 machinery. Max has never raced on a KTM before as hes only ever ridden a Honda Moto3, so the learning curve will be steep as they are totally different, but Max is more than up for the challenge.
Max had his first taste of the new bike at Jerez last month at the official Rookie Cup Test, which was very positive. Max made a great start getting to grips with the bike and improved throughout the test, finishing better than expected. The racing in the Rookies Cup this year promises to be very exciting as the 24 riders times were separated by only a couple of seconds.
Ready for Jerez!
When we asked Max about his first round with Red Bull Rookies in a couple of weeks he was naturally pretty excited!
“Yeah I’m really looking forward to the 1st round at Jerez, it’s my first experience with the rookies and it’s going to be supporting MotoGP so for me to go from watching it on TV to being a part of the MotoGP weekend feels amazing and exciting.
I’m feeling pretty good about the weekend as I had a good test last month and I feel a lot more comfortable with the bike and the circuit. I’ve also been working hard at the gym and training hard on track to make sure I’m in good shape for this round. There are also a few butterflies, as you’d expect as I’ve never done anything like this before, but I think they’ll disappear as soon as free practice is out of the way and I can focus on the racing.”
Take a look at our gallery below to see more about Max’s racing career so far…