During the recent Hungary-Greece tour we met with Josep ALONSO, Head of Enduro for the RFME (Spanish Motorcycling Federation), to talk about the role his Federation plays in the help and support of young riders. Indeed, the RFME is the only Federation that invests and offers the opportunity for young enduro riders in the form of their own team, allowing riders to participate in the FIM Maxxis EnduroGP World Championship under their awning. A new generation of Spanish riders are coming through...
For the last two years, the RFME has been the only Federation that has invested solely in EnduroGP. Why did you choose the World Championship rather than the European Championship?
Josep ALONSO: "I think for our riders it is more interesting to participate in the World Championship, that's where all the best riders and best brands are. If one day one of our riders is doing well, they may have the opportunity to join one of the big Factory teams in the World Championship. The RFME has always helped riders, but in recent years, with the economic crisis, there has been a decline in subsidies and it was difficult for us to put forward a team. Today, the country is a little bit better economically and our Federation wanted to bring a nice team back to EnduroGP. We prefer to help 8 to 10 young riders rather than 2 already established riders, as we are more likely to uncover the next stars”
How is Enduro in Spain?
J.A: "We have a very good National Championship with very difficult races. We also have a good selection of young challengers who currently have leading roles in the World Championship, such as GARCIA and MIRABET. As well as other more experienced guys like SANTOLINO, the GUERRERO brothers, and BETRIU... I really think we have a good level!”
With the departure of Ivan CERVANTES, and the breakthrough of Josep GARCIA in E2, are we witnessing the emergence of a new generation of riders?
J.A: “For sure! In addition to GARCIA, we have many young riders who are running at the front in Junior and Youth. We are really entering into a new era and a new generation"
« FRANCISCO, SCHAREINA & ISCLA have the potential to succeed! »
What do you think about the performance of your young riders this season?
J.A: "The RFME has riders in each category; in Youth 125cc, Juniors, Women and also some Senior riders. In Youth 125cc, the goal is to help them make their first steps into the World Championship, while the Juniors have a real opportunity to gain experience and to improve themselves in order to claim good results in the future. We have some riders who are fighting for the Top 5 in Junior and the Top 3 in Youth. But, above all, we seek to make them work hard to get closer to the top!"
Out of all your young riders, who are currently the ones most likely to succeed in the World Championship?
J.A: "Alex ISCLA just arrived on the scene! He is a young Andorran rider from Motocross who has always raced in Spain, but he has good potential; he is young and very fast and I think he can do something good in FIM Youth 125cc. However, Alex unfortunately suffered a bad injury in Hungary and faces a long recovery. There is also Enric FRANCISCO who is quite good this season in Junior with some Top 5 results. Today I think we have three riders who can succeed at the top level: Enric FRANCISCO who is only 18 years old, Tosha SCHAREINA and Alex ISCLA. Tosha is in his last year in Junior, but he still has a good margin of progression! I also think Bernat CORTES is promising, he is a good rider. He must continue to work hard and make his mark in EY with the 125cc."
What are your long-term objectives?
J.A: “The objective of the Federation is simply to allow young riders to be able to race in the World Championship, allow them to gain experience and learn, and then have the chance to join a Factory team and fight for World Champion titles”