Shell Malaysia Trading managing director Azman Ismail (centre) with some of the talents at the launch of the search for young riders for next year's Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup. – Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: The Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, the only Asian feeder series to the FIM World Motorcycle Championship, will see solid backing with Shell Malaysia confirming a three-year contract.
The company kicked off its search for young talented riders to take part in the 2015 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup (SAATC) on Tuesday.
In the inaugural competition this year, a total of 22 young riders were handpicked by the legendary former Spanish racer Alberto Puig to compete in eight races over six rounds in Qatar, Indonesia, China, Japan and Malaysia.
Seven of the selected riders are Malaysians. The first round took place in Doha last month with 14-year-old Japanese rider Yuta Date winning from pole position while Ibrahim Norrodin was the best placed Malaysian in seventh.
The eight-race championship resumes with the second round in Sentul, Indonesia, this weekend.
Shell Malaysia Trading managing director Azman Ismail believes it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the youngsters to train and race at a very competitive level.
“They are racing on identical 250cc Honda NSF250R Moto3 bikes. We will be going to biking communities to promote the series and look for prospects.
“Our hope is that the young riders who benefit from this programme will one day go on to compete in the highest level of motorsports like Moto3, Moto2 or even MotoGP one day,” he said at the launch of the Shell Advance Scooter Oil on Tuesday.
In conjunction with the launch, there will also be an SMS-based contest from May 1-Aug 1 in Penisular Malaysia and from June 1-Aug 1 in Sabah and Sarawak.
Three lucky grand prize winners will be rewarded with an exclusive replica SAATC race bike and a VIP experience at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit this October.