Oschersleben. The Northern Talent Cup enters its fourth season in 2023. Thanks to the successful cooperation between MotoGP marketer Dorna Sports, manufacturer KTM and the ADAC, 2023 is also an exciting year ahead, in which talented young drivers have the chance to present themselves in the best light on racetracks in and around Germany.
In preparation for the new season, which includes seven rounds of two races each at the TT Circuit in Assen, the Sachsenring, the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Most in the Czech Republic, the Red Bull Ring in Austria and the Hockenheimring, this week a pre-season test takes place. All pilots were able to get used to their KTM RC4R machines on Wednesday and Thursday in fresh but mostly dry conditions in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
In a total of eleven sessions, the NTC riders took first impressions of their motorcycles, but also of this year’s competition. At the end of both test days, Lenoxx Phommara came out on top. The Swiss from Team Phommara clocked a best time of 1:36.801 minutes, followed by Dutchman Jurrien van Grugten (BB64 Academy) and Matteo Masili (Fairium Next Generation Riders Team) from Italy.
13-year-old Hungarian Martin Vincze (VM Racing Team) set the fourth fastest time, just ahead of the fastest German, Rocco Caspar Sessler. With a time of 1:37.452 minutes, the 14-year-old MCA Racing driver took fifth place in the test drives. “The training in Oschersleben went very well for us. Thanks to good cooperation, I was able to keep up with my team-mates at the front without any problems. I suspect this year the first group will consist of at least eight riders because the level is very high again,” said Sessler, who will start his second season in the Northern Talent Cup in 2023 and is preparing well for the first race weekend in the Netherlands feels.
Anakin Zelenak is the second German in the field this season. The JRP Academy Racing pilot is contesting his first NTC season and set a fastest lap of 1:39.690 minutes in the test, which put him in twelfth place. “I got on well and felt comfortable with the bike. At the end of the first day I was tenth, so as a rookie I was really good,” he says.
“The conditions were a bit more changeable on Thursday. I had a little more problems in the rain because I had never driven on rain tires before. Unfortunately, I then had two falls, which fortunately didn’t end well. There were also technical difficulties for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, it was a very successful test with a lot of driving time,” says the 14-year-old, who now wants to use the time for the first race from April 21st to 23rd to strengthen himself physically and mentally. Zelenak adds: “Then I can do my best in Assen! I also want to thank my team who did a fantastic job here in Oschersleben and always fixed my bike after the crashes.”