Six-time world motoGP champion Tony Rickardson plays a key role in the Discovery Grand Prix promoter’s concept. The Swede is preparing SGP4, the future entry class.
Taking charge of Speedway GP marketing, Discovery Group has given the sport a chassis ranging from SGP to SGP2 (U21 World Championship) to SGP3 (U16) and also provides the SGP4 series. Building this beginner class is one of Tony Rickardson’s tasks.
FIM track sport chief Armando Castagna, who has stood at the starting line with the Swede during his active time, is happy to work with him. “Together with Discovery Sports Events and Tony Rickardson, we discussed a very important category missing from our chassis,” Castagna said. “Years ago we introduced the FIM 250cc Youth Championship, which will be the step before that. In a few years we will try to create a junior championship similar to the MotoGP Championship.”
There, the Red Bull Rookies Cup, in which all youngsters compete with identical KTM machines, for many years provided a large portion of the youngsters in the Moto3 World Championship, from which all Moto2 and MotoGP racers come today.
A lot of prep work needs to be done before SGP4 launches. Castagna: “We are now at the first step. Tony does a good job trying to test different bikes. We will then check, check and test the bikes together. Then the bike is selected. I have great confidence in Tony.”
While Rickardson was interested in getting the most out of the bikes during his time, the task today is to build a simple, modular, inexpensive motorcycle: “I want to have a series where we have kids from different parts of the world, who ride the same motorcycles under the same rules. I want to I make this system more accessible to more young drivers.The cost of bikes should also fit into our budget because there are many details and aspects to consider.The purpose of these bikes is to make them more affordable for families who do not practice motorsports.But also hopefully it will be easier Much motorsport families have to buy a ready-made bike that can be used in national and international races.You can go to a motocross shop and buy a complete bike.It would be great if we could get something similar to motorsports.No one should need special mechanical skills to assemble this bike.Must To be ready to start. It should last 20-30 hours of racing without maintenance, which corresponds to many laps!”
Testing will continue until the end of the season, then a decision will be made as to what the bike should look like in the new series. “Right now we are testing a number of bikes, all different. There are different chassis, different engines and different types of engines with different displacements. We are in the evaluation period,” Rickardson reports. “Towards the end of the year, we will decide what is the best bike prototype. Then we need to work with the FIM to ensure the bike is safe and their expectations are met.”
Commenting on the SGP4 class, Francois Ribeiro, CEO of Marketing Discovery, said: “We are committed to working with Tony and the FIA to find the best way to help young drivers and their families begin their motorcycle racing journey. When we were working on our Speedway GP design, it was clear that the main goal was to make our sport more accessible and to provide young drivers with a clear path to a Speedway GP.”