Japanese company Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd (hereafter called Idemitsu) will back the 22 riders selected to compete in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup during the 2017 season, as the new title sponsor of the promotional cup organised by Dorna.
The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup is a competition that seeks to promote the careers of riders from Asia, Australia and New Zealand as they aim to improve their skills and strive to eventually reach the MotoGP™ World Championship.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, said: "The Asia Talent Cup is an unrivalled opportunity for all those youngsters aspiring to become champions to compete against other future talents – on equal machinery – racing at World Championship standard circuits. Without doubt this racing series requires them to make the very best of their abilities. The fact that Idemitsu are now also supporting us in this new effort to develop the talent of these young riders is great news and we thank them for participating in this project with us."
Mr. Yasushi Takakuwa, Idemitsu Senior Executive Officer of Lubricants Business said: “It is an honor to be the main sponsor of this program which takes an important role in developing young Asian riders to future enroll in the world class. We feel sympathy to the direction of both DORNA and Honda and delighted to be involved in this Asian region where it is also an important market for Idemitsu.”
The Asia Talent Cup is led in-part by respected and successful talent scout Alberto Puig, who has been responsible for developing such talents as Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, and who was at the head of Dorna’s Talent Promotion Program. The competition sees Asia’s stars of the future participate in a twelve race championship held over six rounds, with all of the riders on homogenised Honda NSF250R Moto3™ bikes.
Since its inception in 2014 the competition has been run by Dorna, who not only run the MotoGP™ World Championship but also the FIM Superbike World Championship, the FIM CEV Repsol, and who co-organise the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
Among the talents that have emerged from the Asia Talent Cup are Kaito Toba, Ayumu Sasaki and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat, who in 2017 will compete in the Moto3™ category of MotoGP™.
In 2016 Somkiat Chantra was proclaimed Asia Talent Cup champion, becoming the first Thai rider to win the title, having competed against other future stars such as Ai Ogura, Andi Izdihar and Ryusei Yamanaka.
The 2017 race calendar features visits to Thailand (Chang), Qatar (Losail), Japan (Suzuka and Motegi) and Malaysia (Sepang). The races take place during either MotoGP™, WorldSBK or ARRC rounds at the aforementioned circuits, or in separate independent events organised just for the championship.
Idemitsu is a Japanese petroleum company. It is the second largest petroleum refiner in Japan. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products.
The logo at Idemitsu's service stations is known as the Apollo logo. It is used as the symbol of the Idemitsu group's energy business as a whole. When Idemitsu established their logo, the founder saw the picture of "the profile of the person who let hair stream" a signboard raised in the shop he passed. He liked the picture as "it had sense of speed".
Idemitsu is involved in the MotoGP world championship with the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia in both the Moto3 and Moto2 classes.