Every IATC rider competes on a Honda NSF250R, ensuring no-one has an unfair advantage. All tires are supplied by Dunlop, suspension by SHOWA, brake calipers by Nisshin, and mufflers by Akrapovic. These performance components enhance the racing bikes, giving the riders experience in preparation for Moto3 Junior, or world grand prix Moto3 class competition. The total rider and bike weight are leveled out with ballasts, ensuring all riders race under identical conditions.

-Promising young Asian riders rising to the challenge, dreaming of taking on the world-

The IATC is a racing series designed to nurture riders. The curriculum covers not only riding skills, but covers a wide spectrum including how to approach racing, and learning English, the common language on the world stage.
Here is how the IATC operates.

Riders spend race week in the same pits. Identical bikes are lined up, with only their numbers being unique.

Riders spend race week in the same pits. Identical bikes are lined up, with only their numbers being unique.

  • Riders spend race week in the same pits. Identical bikes are lined up, with only their numbers being unique.

    Riders spend race week in the same pits. Identical bikes are lined up, with only their numbers being unique.

  • Riders are all issued with identical items such as spare wheels, tool boxes with wheels, and Pramac generators.

    Riders are all issued with identical items such as spare wheels, tool boxes with wheels, and Pramac generators.

  • Cowls are always kept clean. The riders can compete thanks to Idemitsu and other partner corporations.

    Cowls are always kept clean. The riders can compete thanks to Idemitsu and other partner corporations.

※Click on images to enlarge.

Dorna Sports, organizing racing series such as MotoGP and SBK, started the Asia Talent Cup in 2014, to nurture Asian riders. Idemitsu became the title sponsor this year, the series now being called the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC). The key person of the IATC is its director, Alberto Puig de la Rosa.

Puig, former grand prix rider with 500cc class victories to his credit, has been involved in numerous rider development programs such as the Telefonica Movistar Cup, and the MotoGP Academy based on competing in the Spanish championship. He has brought many riders to grand prix racing, including Dani Pedrosa, and his knowhow benefits the IATC.

As the IATC is a series focussed on nurturing riders, all bikes are Honda NSF250Rs and tires are supplied by Dunlop. To ensure equal conditions, every aspect including bike setup are managed by Puig and his staff, ensuring riders can compete purely on merit of their skills.

Riders selected for the IATC battle purely with their skills, and under equal conditions, each race is a close one, which in turn hones the riders' skills further. The IATC rider development program goes beyond riding skills, and covers aspects such as learning English, all aimed at leading riders to the world stage.

Costs of the bike, tires, other components, consumables, and even the helmet and racing wear are sponsored by the IATC's partners. Riders who prove themselves outstanding gain the opportunity to race for the Asia Talent Team in the Moto3 Junior World Championship. The riders are obliged, of course, to perform well, but the IATC is run according to the principles of competition, and provide riders with the chance to gain early access to racing experiences under conditions similar to grand prix races.

IATC has a direct route from Asia to the world.

About the IATC Rider Development System

IATC Director Alberto Puig de la Rosa (right), advisor Hiroshi Aoyama, and staff. A multinational staff of seasoned mechanics support the riders, and most communication is in English, preparing the riders for their future careers.

IATC Director Alberto Puig de la Rosa (right), advisor Hiroshi Aoyama, and staff. A multinational staff of seasoned mechanics support the riders, and most communication is in English, preparing the riders for their future careers.

  • IATC Director Alberto Puig de la Rosa (right), advisor Hiroshi Aoyama, and staff. A multinational staff of seasoned mechanics support the riders, and most communication is in English, preparing the riders for their future careers.

    IATC Director Alberto Puig de la Rosa (right), advisor Hiroshi Aoyama, and staff. A multinational staff of seasoned mechanics support the riders, and most communication is in English, preparing the riders for their future careers.

  • Arai provides the helmets. Riding wear and other items are provided by Alpinestars.

    Arai provides the helmets. Riding wear and other items are provided by Alpinestars.

  • Bikes, equipment, and rider wear are loaded into containers, as the series takes riders all over Asia.

    Bikes, equipment, and rider wear are loaded into containers, as the series takes riders all over Asia.

  • During race week, riders must wear the official uniform, even when traveling. Accommodation costs are paid by the riders.

    During race week, riders must wear the official uniform, even when traveling. Accommodation costs are paid by the riders.

  • Each rider has a helper, who works on the bike under supervision of the mechanic, to support the rider.

    Each rider has a helper, who works on the bike under supervision of the mechanic, to support the rider.

  • Mechanics set up the bikes. Riders are not permitted to set make changes to the bike setup.

    Mechanics set up the bikes. Riders are not permitted to set make changes to the bike setup.

  • Experienced staff instruct riders on more than riding skills, such as how to approach a race.

    Experienced staff instruct riders on more than riding skills, such as how to approach a race.

  • The IATC conducts seminars to gain race knowledge and English language skills. Meetings are held regularly, developing many aspects of the riders.

    The IATC conducts seminars to gain race knowledge and English language skills. Meetings are held regularly, developing many aspects of the riders.

※Click on images to enlarge.
Following the IATC graduates

Two IATC graduates are competing in this year's World Grand Prix Moto3 class: IATC's first champion, Kaito Toba is racing for Team Honda Asia, and the champion in IATC's second year, Ayumu Sasaki represents SIC Racing Team.

The Moto3 class is tough for a rookie to even score points, but after half of the 18 races completed, Sasaki is ranked 20th, and Toba 22nd.

At the season-opener in Qatar, Sasaki finished 11th, earning points. At Spain he was 15th, then 8th in Italy, and 15th in the Netherlands, scoring each time. He finished the first half of the year ranked the top rookie. Toba finished 10th at the Argentine Grand Prix.

Looking at the first half of their rookie years, the two riders have had hard battles to fight, but they have improved their best times each session, and even in races they missed out on points, they fought well in their groups, growing with each race. The key to better results in the latter half of the season, is qualifying well.

In the Moto3 Junior World Championship, three Japanese rider, Kazuki Masaki, Ai Ogura and Yuki Kunii, are racing for the Asia Talent Team..

Four races in six rounds have been completed to date: Albacete, Le Mans, Barcelona - Catalunya (two races) and Valencia (2 races). Masaki is ranked 7th at this stage, after a rocky start in the first two rounds where he was caught up in accidents finishing outside the points. He made a comeback in Barcelona by taking pole position, the first pole for a Japanese rider in the Moto3 Junior championship. Masaki is ranked 7th at this stage, in Barcelona - Catalunya and Valencia, four races straight. In the MotoGP Rookies Cup, he has been on the podium in four of six races, and is not ranked 3rd.

Kunii, still competing in the IATC, is behind Masaki, with a personal best 4th place finish at Valencia, ranking him 8th. Ogura, injured in a fall in Race 1 at Barcelona - Catalunya, has not been able to race since.

Ayumu Sasaki, top Moto3 rookie, ranked 20th. At the Italian Grand Prix, he lead the lead group at one stage.

Ayumu Sasaki, top Moto3 rookie, ranked 20th. At the Italian Grand Prix, he lead the lead group at one stage.

  • Ayumu Sasaki, top Moto3 rookie, ranked 20th. At the Italian Grand Prix, he lead the lead group at one stage.

    Ayumu Sasaki, top Moto3 rookie, ranked 20th. At the Italian Grand Prix, he lead the lead group at one stage.

  • Kaito Toba, who finished within the top 10 in Argentina, has been know since his ATC days for never backing down from a battle.

    Kaito Toba, who finished within the top 10 in Argentina, has been know since his ATC days for never backing down from a battle.

  • Kazuki Masaki, first Japanese rider to take pole in the Moto3 Junior World Championship. Hopes are high for a podium finish in the second half of the season.

    Kazuki Masaki, first Japanese rider to take pole in the Moto3 Junior World Championship. Hopes are high for a podium finish in the second half of the season.

※Click on images to enlarge.

Hiroshi Aoyama,
Riding Adviser, Talks

Hiroshi Aoyama, trained by Puig since his first year as a full-time grand prix racer, likely knows Puig's policies more than anyone.

Hiroshi Aoyama, trained by Puig since his first year as a full-time grand prix racer, likely knows Puig's policies more than anyone.


2009 World Grand Prix 250cc champion and former MotoGP rider, Hiroshi Aoyama, is a riding advisor for the IATC. "IATC rider selection starts with choosing finalists from the application forms, and narrowing down next years riders on the track," Aoyama explains how the IATC selects its riders. "We look at the big picture. We're not concerned if a rider is fast or slow at this stage. Our goal is to find riders who will be competitive in the future. We're looking for riders who will thrive on being in races, with our support. So, we look for riders who are exceptionally motivated, and are determined to climb up the ladder.

"After being accepted into the IATC, riders are loaned bikes and equipment. They have a helper assigned during races and tests, but since there are also mechanics assigned to give instructions from the IATC, the helpers need to be able to carry out these instructions. English is the language used, so the helper needs to be a fluent speaker.

"The IATC provides riding advice, but in addition advises on how to approach each race session. That's why there is a curriculum to enhance the riders' English skills. The IATC provides young Asian riders aspiring to race on the world stage with a big opportunity. If they succeed here, the path to the world stage should be open to them. For a start, I hope many young riders will apply to join us."

Online applications for 2018 IATC rider selection started on July 8, and closes on August 13. Details follow.

Recruiting 2018 IATC Racers

※The application period has ended.

The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup is now accepting applicants for 2018.

The IATC makes its selections aiming to nurture riders with potential, so racing experience is not vital, but some form of background in riding, such as dirt track racing, Motocross, scooter or mini bike skills, or previous racing school experience is considered.

After online applications close, riders are selected to participate in final selection in Sepang, Malaysia, at a cart track on Underbone bikes. Qualifications to apply, and relevant dates are as follows:


2018 IATC Application Requirements
Riders
Born in Asian countries, or Australia or New Zealand

Age
Riders born between January 1, 1997 and December 31, 2005

Online application period
July 8, 2017 to August 13, 2017

How to apply
Register at http://www.asiatalentcup.com/register/
※The application period has ended.

Announcement of successful applicants
September 6, 2017

Final selection
October 24 - 25, 2017

Sepang International Circuit

Final selection is held at the cart track at the Sepang International Circuit, contested on Underbone bikes.

Final selection is held at the cart track at the Sepang International Circuit, contested on Underbone bikes.

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