Portimão hosts special Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup ceremony

2020-11-20 02:26
Representatives from Dorna, Idemitsu, Honda and Accenture join the class of 2020 in bringing the curtain down on the season and looking ahead to 2021

The MotoGP™ season finale at the stunning Autodromo Internacional do Algarve hosted a very special ceremony for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, with representatives from Dorna Sports, Idemitsu, Honda and Accenture joined by the IATC class of 2020 to sign off the season and look ahead to the next. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic having obliged the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the IATC, there was plenty to cover – and celebrate – as the riders round out the year and gear up for 2021.

The presentation began with a video charting the first round in Qatar and the subsequent Accenture CHAMPS Virtual Workshops the riders took part in as competition was unfortunately put on hold. Then, the first speech came from Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in Portimão as he thanked everyone for the work done in 2020, as well as underlining the incredible success and importance of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup on the Road to MotoGP™.

Accenture Growth Markets Group CEO Gianfranco Casati spoke next via virtual link up, detailing the work put in to keep the riders connected and progressing off-track in 2020 as the CHAMPS Virtual Workshops took centre stage. From there, Accenture’s Growth Markets Marketing MD Karina Gan took over to present the six top mentees in 2020 – Gun Mie, Kanta Hamada, Mikail Salih, Sharul Sharil, Carter Thompson and Harrison Voight – with some special MotoGP™ memorabilia from top riders including newly-crowned World Champion Joan Mir and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi.

Hiroshi Aoyama, the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup Talent Scout and 2009 250 World Champion, then took to the stage in Portimão as he shared some words for the riders on motivation – especially important after a challenging season and year like 2020. Aoyama then passed the mic to Dorna Sports Talent Promotion Director Alberto Puig as the Spaniard shared some words of encouragement and wisdom borne from his years of experience, including the assertion that the pandemic will come to a close, but racing will never stop – so don’t give up.

The stage then returned to the virtual as Soichi Yamana, Motorsport Division Manager at Honda Motor Company, presented a message on behalf of Honda, one of the IATC’s most important partners and a cornerstone of the competition since inception. Masanori Enomoto, Idemitsu Kosan Deputy General Manager; Lubricants Department 2, then took virtual centre stage as he shared a message from Idemitsu, as well as some of their history supporting and promoting motorsport in Asia, the Grand Prix paddock and the Road to MotoGP™.

Finally, it was time to look ahead to 2021 and unveil the new Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup livery. Carmelo Ezpeleta, Alberto Puig and Hiroshi Aoyama did the honours, taking the covers off the IATC bike on the stage in Portimão to reveal the stunning, new-look machine the grid will be racing on next season.

With that, the presentation came to a close with thanks given and received by all as the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup looks ahead to 2021 – with much more to come.

Source: Dorna Sports

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