Age is a highly determining factor. If you want to reach the highest level, ideally, you should begin training when you are a child (around 10 years old). It’s possible to achieve this dream at a much later age, but making it happen may require more luck and exceptional talent.
Children’s competitions are where scouts for higher level teams begin searching for new talent. Riders who stand out are placed on a list and followed more closely. If you are among them, your dream may be closer to coming true. Now the question is: how do you become one of those riders?
Starting from the bottom
Ideally, you should start in small-scale local or regional races in which federal licences can be obtained as early as six years old in Spain. There is an initiation license for four year olds, but it is not valid for competition. In any case, each community's federation can provide you with all of the information regarding licenses, events, requirements, and regulation.
As with any hobby, starting off requires a substantial investment in items such as material, vehicles, and, according to your location, travelling to circuits or events. Don't forget that falls happen and you will have to deal with maintenance and repairs.
You can try to obtain some type of sponsorship, from local companies, garages, spare parts shops etc., but earnings generated by these types of agreements are usually minimal and are aimed at covering costs. You must have a substantial amount of savings to face the first year of competition.
If possible, one of the best options is to sign up to a riding school. Across Spain, there are many options that include the majority of two-wheeled sports, including some located on the circuits where the MotoGP Championship takes place. Additionally, there are classes for all ages.
Depending on the type, the cost of purchasing a competition bike can be very high, as can be the case with maintenance expenses. The best option is to visit one of the circuits or specialised shops and ask for an estimate. The second-hand market can also provide you with reasonably priced items, and is a great option at the beginning, if and when you are able to check that the materials are in good condition.
Once everything is in order and, always keeping in mind that your goal is extremely complicated to achieve, you can proceed to compete in the category you wish.
Looking presentable is important. The cleanliness, control, and behaviour you demonstrate during the competition may work in your favour. It is normal to be nervous, angry, or disappointed during competitions. You have to learn to channel these emotions and not get carried away by them. This is especially important with very young riders.
They must always set realistic goals, both with results and economically. If not, motorcycling is a sport which can see money disappear very quickly.
The road to top competitions
After having taken the first steps and experiencing competitions for a while, it will be time to review and evaluate the following steps to take.
If it's possible to go further, you will have to move up to the next level. Regional events are great to begin and train, but if you want to go far, you have to experience large circuits. There are promotion formulas that can help you. Without looking too far, competitions like FIM CEV Repsol are ideal for cases in which you can begin competing at 12 years old and also provides a big stage for scouts from big teams. More than 70% of the riders that make it to the world championship have passed through there.
Events like the European Talent Cup for children between ages 12 and 17 or the Kawasaki Z Cup for those over 15 years old are ideal locations to test your skills against other riders. Their rules allow for maximum equality among riders and the cost is not very high.
From there, you can move up to the Moto3 or Moto2 categories. The cost will be higher, but the possibilities of reaching the world championship are increased. In these events, the importance of everything we mentioned previously is multiplied. There will be hundreds of eyes on you at every moment, checking times and watching reactions in every situation. One bad gesture, one dirty or unkempt bit of gear... it’s incredibly important to pay attention to detail at all times.
If you stay in the lower categories during enough time, probably many years, then you may have the possibility of climbing to the top category. It is possible to reach the very top without spending a fortune, but both financial support and luck will always play a fundamental role in the dream of reaching MotoGP.