YOUNG Ralph Kenneth Torres tries to make the country proud as the Philippines' lone entry in the eight-leg Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup that kicked off in Qatar last month.
The 15-year-old incoming fourth-year high school at Angelicum placed 12th during the inaugural race of the pioneering competition regarded as a feeder series for regional talent into the world of motorcycle racing.
Torres was the only Filipino out of the 22 young, leading motorbike talent selected from China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore during the two-day, pre-selection event held at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit in October last year.
Yuta Date of Japan won the inaugural leg of the event that aims to give riders from the region a formal path into competitive road racing particularly the renowned MotoGP World Championship.
The second leg will be held in Sentul, Indonesia on May 9 where Torres, who counts Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo among his favorite riders, is hoping to make it to the Top 10 list.
Torres was with his father Charlie, Emi Arboleda, marketing and communications manager of Pilipinas Shell, and Shell Lubricants Philippines general manager Dennis Javier during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“We are extremely excited and proud of Ralph Kenneth Torres’ participation in the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup. With the goal of the meet to seek out talent at the grassroots level across Asia, this is proof positive of the innate potential and talent of Filipinos, that we can be at par with riders from the rest of the region, and possibly the world,” said Javier.
Torres recalled starting riding bikes at the age of six, before moving up to underbone bikes by the age of 10.
He said he’s been concentrating on endurance workouts and practice sessions to bolster his bid in the tournament that will also hold legs in Zhuhai (races 3 and 4), Sepang (race 5), Motegi (race 6), and Sepang again (races 7 and 8).