Photos and video: Kat Georgudis
Additional footage: Callum Philpott
Final year juniors is a tough test for a young racer. While the Red Bull cameras may not be focussed on you, the team managers from Factory set-ups certainly are. The teenagers generally aren’t paid and compete simply to prove themselves as the ‘ones to watch’ in future years but they have only seven races to do it.
With 20 guys qualifying for finals, and none of them protected, punctures, crashes and injuries all add to the pressure – a lot of weight on an 18 year old’s shoulder.
Those that overcome all the pressure generally go on to be special racers. In recent years, Brosnan, Greenland and Vergier have all dominated the young guns and now hunt down podiums regularly on big teams. A lot though are left forgotten, chancers left by the wayside to taste the dream as a privateer or look elsewhere for glory.