Americans Joe Roberts and Anthony Alonso are among the 24 riders named to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in 2013, which will include its first races in the United States since 2008.
The series, designed to identify and cultivate talent for the MotoGP World Championship, will open its seventh season April 20-21 at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin during the inaugural MotoGP weekend at the track. This will be the first event in America since a special playoff race in 2008 at Indianapolis.
The biggest change for the series is a jump to four-stroke KTM 250 RBR Moto3 machinery after racing the first six seasons on 125cc KTM bikes.
A handful of Red Bull Rookies Cup alumni has advanced to the World Championship, including Danny Kent, Arthur Sissis, Luis Salom, Sturla Fagerhaug and Jakub Kornfeil.
While the program has been kind to European riders, it has failed to promote top-level Americans into the World Championship. JD Beach won the Rookies Cup in 2008 and Jake Gagne followed in 2010, but neither made a dent in Grand Prix racing despite their talent, proving - as always - the front of a rider's passport sometimes is as important as his skill in this Machiavellian, parochial world.