BSB rider Rory Skinner has been given a World Championship lifeline by American Racing’s John Hopkins and Eitan Butbul.
While the American duo usually focus their academy support on promoting home grown talent from across the pond - currently honing the talents of five-time MotoAmerica Champion Cameron Beaubier and Sean Dylan Kelly in Moto2 after Joe Roberts moved on to the Italtrans outfit - the pair also co-manage Skinner.
The Scotsman currently races in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki - securing two podiums on home soil at this weekend’s Knockhill round before crashing out of the lead in race three - but has his sights set on a career in Grand Prix following his stalled progression from the Red Bull Rookies Cup and British Talent Cup, from which he was crowned champion in 2018.
It’s a future Hopkins is keen to facilitate, and as early as possible, with Silverstone the ultimate target at the start of August.
“Rory is an unbelievable talent,” Hopkins stated from Sachsenring. “Currently racing in British Superbike with the FS-3 Kawasaki team and although that is his primary focus this year and he’s going after that championship, we are trying to work out a deal to hopefully see him on a wildcard here this season.
“Possibly we’ve been trying at the home round but you know we’re still in the phase of trying to get it worked out,” he confirmed. “His primary focus is British Superbike right now, which he’s doing very well at but his ultimate goal is to come Grand Prix racing. We’re trying to facilitate that.
“I personally believe Rory Skinner down the road will be the UK’s next competitive MotoGP class racer, and I’m just trying to help him get there.”
“It’s a pretty awesome thing for John to say,” Skinner answered from Knockhill. “Having an opportunity like that would be pretty awesome. But yeah all eyes on BSB at the minute.
“I mean, it’s all kinda escalated pretty quickly if I’m honest!” the 20-year-old said coyly. “It was like, somebody came up to me and asked yesterday and was like ‘Great news about the wildcard’ and I was like, ‘what wildcard?’ I didn’t really know how to play it!
“Great opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it but special thanks to Darren [Fry] and Nigel [Snook] who are letting me get the opportunity.”