BSB Young Guns feature


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It feels like only yesterday, but 10 years ago I was a rookie reporter for Motor Cycle News, covering the British Superbike Championship for Britain’s biggest motorcycling publication.

Race programmes for the events held on the Brands Hatch owned circuits were produced by Emap Autocreate, the contract publishing division of MCN’s then parent company, so it represented a nice opportunity to ‘moonlight’ and write some features that would never appear in MCN.

One such feature was this, from the 2002 Snetterton round. The feature was about the golden generation of kids coming through the ACU Academy, a well meaning but ultimately underfunded training programme for new British talent.

I’ve put it up here because it brings back some great memories. Back then, who would have known that Cal Crutchlow, Tom Sykes and Jon Kirkham would go onto such success, while Craig Jones was right on the cusp of greatness when he was taken from us in a crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.

This truly was a great period for young British talent, one which we are really seeing the benefits of today. In addition to those featured, the early 2000s also saw guys like Casey Stoner, Chris Vermeulen, Chaz Davies, Stuart Easton, Leon Camier, Leon Haslam, Jason DiSalvo and the Lavertys in the British paddock, while the main championship was red hot and on a par with the world series.

Good days indeed.