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A new season of the FIM CEV Repsol starts this weekend at the Estoril circuit in Portugal. The competition looks like being tighter than ever in Moto3™, Moto2™ and the European Talent Cup with a calendar of eight meetings starting at Estoril and ending on November 10 at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
The FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship will once again be the main focus of attention as a prelude to the World Championship. With the 2018 champion Raúl Fernandez already taking part in the Moto3™ World Championship along with riders such as Sergio García, Ai Ogura, Can Öncü and Celestino Vietti, among others, it is now the turn of Aleix Viu (Sama Global Angel Nieto Team), Yuki Kunii (Asia Talent Team), Jeremy Alcoba (Laglisse Academy), Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and company to fight for the title in a category where the ETC 2018 champion Xavier Artigas (Leopard Impala Junior Team) will be making his debut, along with other riders from the ETC such as runner-up Víctor Rodríguez (Laglisse Academy), and riders from other international competitions such as Bill van Eerde (Asia Talent Team), champion of the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup 2018.
Likewise, there are five riders who have moved up from the Moto2™ European Championship to the Moto2™ World Championship: Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing), Xavier Cardelús (Angel Nieto Team), Dimas Ekky Patrama (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) and Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40). Edgar Pons (Baiko Racing Team), 2015 champion and runner-up last season in Moto2™ European Championship, could be the man to beat alongside Hector Garzo (CNS Motorsport) in a heavyweight grid that will feature riders just arrived from Moto3™ such as Gerry Salim (Astra Honda Racing Team) and Alex Ruiz (Fundación Andreas Pérez) as well as from other championships such as the VR46 Master Camp Team, Keminth Kubo and Anupab Sarmoon. Superstock 600 is also full of riders who have come up from lower categories like Leon and Kevin Orgis (Pinamotos RS) and Peetu Paavilainen (Pinamotos RS), who arrives from the ETC.
Within the ETC, one of the innovations this season is the staging of the ETC Series2 race. This will be a race for those riders who have failed to qualify in the official qualifying sessions. Also, the ETC qualifying sessions will be divided into two groups given the large number of riders (66) who have signed up for the whole season.
The first event of the FIM CEV Repsol season this Sunday consists of six races: the first - the ETC - will start on Sunday at 11.00 (local time) before the first Moto2™ race. There will be only one Moto3™ race but two each for the ETC (the second starting at 2:00) to be followed by the second Moto2™ race. The new ETC Series2 will close out the weekend’s program.
This Sunday the Estoril Circuit in Portugal hosts the start of a new FIM CEV Repsol season which will continue in Valencia at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, in April. On the 18 May there will be a Moto3™ Junior World Championship race to coincide with the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France MotoGP™ at Le Mans. All categories will return for the round in Barcelona on June 9, to continue at MotorLand Aragon on July 14 before the summer break. Jerez will mark the return to competition on September 29, while on October 13 it will be the turn of Albacete. The final event of the season will be in Valencia on November 10.
The race schedule for Sunday in local time (GMT +1) is as follows:
- ETC Race 1 (16 laps) 11:00
- Moto2™ Race 1 (18 laps) 12:00
- Moto3™ (17 laps) 13:00
- ETC Race 2 (16 laps) 14:00
- Moto2™ Race 2 (18 laps) 15:00
- ETC Serie2 (16 laps) 16:00
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