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After a long winter of preparation and training the 2016 FIM CEV Repsol season will start at the Circuit of Valencia on Thursday 14th April.
After the thrilling scraps among the riders of the inaugural Moto3™ Junior World Championship last year, this new season seems to be stirring plenty of excitement. The heavy involvement of young riders confirms it: there will be thirty nine riders competing from thirteen different countries. The Laglisse Academy will continue with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA-Husqvarna) for the second year and will be betting on number 23, Raúl Fernández (SPA-Husqvarna), who gained valuable experience in a number of well-known championships last season. New team Leopard Junior Stratos will feature rider Marcos Ramírez (SPA-Husqvarna) as well as Gerard Riu (SPA-KTM).
Five riders at the controls of Honda machines will make up the ranks of the Asia Talent Team this season, including the champion of the Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup, Ayumu Sasaki. The team ruled by Jorge Martínez Aspar will again be present, with two Italian and two Spanish riders, all of them riding Mahindras. Another team led by a World Championship rider will be the Procercasa 42 Motorsport team, mentored by Alex Rins, who has employed all his experience to sign a wide variety of riders from France, Italy, Kazakhstan and Spain. World Championship Team Estrella Galicia 0,0, is also in the running in its junior version, with Jaume Masià once again and this time with Alonso López and Jeremy Escoba as riders. The promising SIC 58 Squadra Corse team with Tony Arbolino (ITA-Honda) and Yari Montella (ITA-Honda) are in the fight for the Moto3™ Junior World Championship. Also representing the Italians Junior Schools, Team VR46 Riders Junior Academy will fill the slot left by reigning champion Nicolò Bulega, with Dennis Foggia. The new Moto3™ Production subclass will have six competitors, two of them under Dani Devahive's guardianship in the Xctech team.
Thirty-one riders representing eighteen nationalities will occupy the Valencia track for the Moto2™ European Championship. The absence of current champion Edgar Pons and runner-up Xavi Vierge as well as Luca Marini (all now competing in the World Championship) leaves the way clear for new favourites to emerge. Steven Odeendal (RSA-Kalex) and Jayson Uribe (USA-Kalex) form a dream pairing in the AGR Team. Ranged against them is another strong team - Promoracing - with Eric Granados (BRA-Kalex) and Xavi Cardelús (AND-Kalex). Team Stratos has placed its confidence in riders Max Enderlein (GER-Kalex) and Michael Aquino (USA-Ariane) for their title attack, while the H43 team, remaining true to its principles, continues to rely on riders from various countries: Japan, Norway and Switzerland.
This season Targobank CNS Motorsport has centred its efforts on the intermediate category, with an Italian and a Spanish rider. Former World Championship rider Ana Carrasco will once again be competing in the FIM CEV Repsol as part of the Griful team. The Superstock 600 Subcategory will be contested by four riders, only one making his debut in the championship.
Carmelo Morales (SPA-Yamaha) will be contesting the Superbike European Championship with the same bike and equipment as last season. In light of the progress he made last year, and the fact that he has the same team and bike, Maximilian Schreib (CHI-BMW) must be one of the top candidates for the title. In the absence of some of the leading figures of 2015, their top rivals seem to from the Nordic countries, and especially the four Leopard Yamaha Stratos riders: Alejandro Medina (SPA-Yamaha), Mika Höglund (FIN-Yamaha), Niko Makinen (FIN-Yamaha) and Guillermo Llano (SPA-Yamaha).
The Kawasaki Z Cup returns to action in the opening round of the 2016 FIM CEV Repsol to be held this weekend at the Circuit of Valencia. There will be 29 riders contesting the Cup, including those riders who usually pick up the laurels, such as Francisco Javier Valera and Dani Carrau. The six scheduled races will be run at Valencia, Catalonia and Jerez.
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