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South African teen Ruche Moodley to join Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

Published Sep 22, 2021


The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup has been a breeding ground for two-wheel talent. Over the past 15 seasons this feeder formula has produced no fewer than 30 MotoGP winners. In 2022 a young South African rider by the name of Ruche Moodley will be aiming to make his mark in the series.

Ruche Moodley is the son of 2007 SA Superbike champion Arushen, who hails from Gqeberha. The older Moodley also claimed the 2009/10 UAE Superbike titles.

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Ruche cut his teeth in SA but quickly made the move into European competition to further his ambitions. Over the past few years he has competed in several junior categories on his way to the Rookies Cup. Not only will the teenager compete in the Rookies Cup but also in the Hawkers European Talent Cup a championship that is run by Dorna and feeds into MotoGP.

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We caught up with the 14-year old recently while he was taking a break from his studies. He said of his upcoming season: “I feel very happy to be selected for the Red Bull Rookies Cup. I have been dreaming about racing in this series since I started riding. My goal is to learn as much as possible and fight at the front of the field. I can’t wait to start the season.”

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Click here to read about more young SA riders coming through the ranks

Moodley will ride a KTM RC 250R in the one-make series. The bikes are identically prepared and have sealed engines that rev to 13 000 r/min. In 2022 the series will include 25 riders, all aged 13 to 18, from 18 nations. Up to and including 2021, 211 riders representing 36 countries have competed in the cup. The addition of Mexico for next season takes that tally up to 37 and a total of 223 riders who have competed.

Talent factory

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The riders in this series are chosen from the best up and coming bike racers in the world. South Africa’s two-wheel superstar brothers Brad and Darryn Binder are graduates of this prestigious program. Brad won the 2016 Moto3 title and now races in the top-flight MotoGP category for KTM where he won in his debut season. Darryn competes in Moto3 where is also a race winner. Ruche counts the Binders as friends who often at hand to dispense advice to the young charge.

Of the previous rookies eight have won World Championships and last year’s cup winner Pedro Acosta leads the 2021 Moto3 title chase while former winner Joan Mir is the defending champ in MotoGP.

Check out how the Rookies Cup race bike is built in the video below:

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Article courtesy of Double Apex

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