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9 days ago
By motogp.com

Moto3™ gear up to storm the desert

Sophomore scuffle or comeback of the year?

With Brad Binder gone to Moto2™, there will be a new Champion in the lightweight class in 2017 – and the impressive rookies of 2016 are sure to be some of the first to get into gear when the lights go out in Qatar. Rookie of the Year Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) and podium finishers Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) are now sophomores spoiling for a fight – as well as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), as the Italian comes back from a collarbone break in preseason.

What of the more experienced? Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3), John McPhee (British Talent Team), Gabriel Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team) could all be big forces to be reckoned with – alongside three of the biggest names expected to challenge for the title this season:

Niccolo Antonelli is a race winner with proven speed, now joining Championship veterans Red Bull KTM Ajo to replace Brad Binder. A tall order, and one shared by the man stepping into the EG0,0 seat vacated by Jorge Navarro – “Bestia” Enea Bastianini. Bastianini was a big contender in 2016, with Antonelli a little further back in the fight – but the clock is now reset.

Reset is the goal for the returning Romano Fenati, as he makes a comeback back to the grid with Marinelli Rivacold Snipers. Fenati, who has been a threat at the front since his debut in Moto3™, will surely have the pace – with the goal now to add the consistency.

The lights go out for Moto3™ at Losail on Sunday 26th March at 18:00 local – that’s GMT +3.