The fifth and final Red Bull Elite Youth Academy date of 2012 was held at Apex Motocross last week when five of the UK’s most talented up-and-coming riders were treated to a day of intensive training from three-time world champion Dave Thorpe and leading Red Bull athlete Elliott Banks-Browne.
The riders were drawn from all four divisions of the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup with nine-year-old Rossi Beard representing the 65s, 11-year-old 2012 65cc champ Tom Grimshaw stepping up onto a SW85cc machine and 15-year-olds Todd Kellett and Scooter Webster tearing up the track on BW85cc machines alongside 18-year-old newly-crowned Rookie champion Jake Millward.
The academy is an important tool in Red Bull’s mission to give wings to the next generation of professional motocross riders and Rossi has really felt the benefit this year.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” says the speedy youngster from Preston in Lancashire. “I’ve been trained by Dave Thorpe, Elliott Banks-Browne and Jake Nicholls this year and the advice and tips they have given me have definitely brought me on. I’d like to say a big thanks to Red Bull for such an incredible opportunity.”
For Dave – world 500cc champion in 1985, ’86 and ’89 – mentoring the academy members has been a very rewarding experience.
“I really feel that between myself, Elliott and Jake and with such great support from Red Bull we’ve been able to make a big difference this year,” he says. “It’s really rewarding watching the young riders progressing and putting into practice on the weekends the lessons we’ve been teaching them during the week.”
Plans are now being pulled together to expand the Red Bull Elite Youth Academy in 2013 and it’s a prospect Matt Bates, Managing Director of Red Bull Pro Nationals promoter Events 22, is eagerly anticipating.
“It’s been a great success both in developing the young talent currently competing in the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup and giving them the exclusive opportunity to ride with Red Bull athletes like Elliott and Jake,” adds Matt. “We’ve only just started to explore the potential and I for one can’t wait to see where we can go with it next year.”