Age limits raised for motorbike series after teenage rider deaths


Talent Cup competitors will have to be 14 and MotoGP entrants 18, as FIM governing body reacts to deaths of three young riders this year

Red Bull Rookies

Minimum age limit for Red Bull Rookies will rise to 15 by 2023

Red Bull

Motorcycling’s governing body has announced that it will increase the minimum age of riders in its championships, following the deaths of three teenage racers this year.

Work is also underway on a real-time crash warning system that will alert riders the instant that a bike goes down ahead of them. Tests are expected to start next year.

By 2023, the FIM says that races at any grand prix-type circuit should impose a minimum age of 14, which will apply to the Talent Cup series across the world, currently open to 12-17 year-olds.

Entrants in the Moto3 Junior World Championship will have to be 16, rather than 14 as they are now, with the grid limited to 32 riders. The Red Bull Rookies Cup will increase the minimum age of riders from 13 to 15, and World Supersport 300 riders will have to be at least 18, up from 15, with a grid limit of 30.

All riders in MotoGP races, including Moto2 and Moto3, will have to be at least 18, up from 16, apart from winners of the Moto3 Junior championship and Red Bull Rookies Cup — they can join the Moto3 grid from 17.

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The updated regulations come after 19-year-old Jason Dupasquier was killed during Moto3 qualifying at Mugello in May; European Talent Cup rider Hugo Millán, 14, died at Aragon in July and Dean Berta Viñales, 15, lost his life racing in SSP300 at Jerez last month.

The new age limits were announced following a meeting of the Permanent Bureau, which includes the FIM and MotoGP promoter Dorna.

Some will be introduced in stages, with the minimum age for Talent Cups going up from 12 to 13 next year, and then 14 in 2023, with a limit of 30 competitors on the grid.

The Red Bull Rookies and Moto3 Junior limits will go up to 14 and 15 respectively from next year, although exceptions will be granted to riders who are already racing this year. At the same time, the SSP300 limit will increase to 16 years old.

From 2023, the Red Bull Rookies limit will increase to 15 and Moto3 Junior will go up to 16.

The age limit for all MotoGP championships will go up to 18, which will also apply to World Supersport 300.

2021 World Supersport 300 riders

This year’s World Supersport 300 line-up: riders will have to be 18 from 2023

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Riders who are eligible for the 2021 and 2022 championships, who find themselves ruled out by the new age limits, will be granted exemptions to continue in the same championships.

Other safety improvements being introduced are mandatory airbags for all sprint circuit racing FIM championships. Work is also underway to improve chest and neck protection for riders who fall and are then hit by others on track.

A “near-instant” automatic warning system to alert riders to fallen competitors will be tested from next year with the aim of rolling it out to all championships, including Talent Cups.

Minimum age limit changes to FIM motorcycle championships

Series Current limit 2022 2023
Talent Cups 12 13 14
Red Bull Rookies 13 14 15
Moto3 Junior 14 15 16
World SSP300 15 16 18
Moto3 16 16 18*
Moto2 16 16 18
MotoGP 16 16 18

*Winner of Moto3 Junior and Red Bull Rookies championship will be able to enter Moto3 from 17