New to motogp.com?Register here
Reigning British Moto3™ Standard Motorcycle Champion Dan Jones is to compete in the 2017 Moto3™ Junior World Championship after being selected to join the Racing Steps Foundation-backed KRP squad, joining 12-time national junior champion Rory Skinner in the two-rider British line-up. Skinner returns to the squad after a tough, injury-interrupted season last year. It will be the Scot's third year with the team and his second full season in the championship.
Jones, who sealed the Hel Performance British Motostar standard championship last year with 16 wins and 20 podium finishes, will make his debut in the international series at the opening round at Albacete, in Spain, on 30 April.
Early RSF protégé and Moto3™ Grand Prix winner John McPhee is currently paving the way for the Foundation's latest beneficiaries. The 23 year-old Scot will ride in the Moto3™ World Championship this year with the all new DORNA-backed British Talent Team, which will be managed by former 500cc Grand Prix winner Alberto Puig. Puig has also been charged with finding and developing the next crop of British riders with the skills and determination to succeed on the international stage.
The Spaniard has already identified Skinner as a potential British Talent Team rider of the future, worthy of DORNA support. The Scot is currently too young to race in the senior Moto3™ World Championship. Jones is also on Puig's radar.
The Welsh teenager will have ample opportunity to ensure he remains 'one to watch'. In parallel with his 2017 KRP Junior World Championship ride, the youngster will also race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup over the course of the season, having impressed the series organisers at the selection event in Spain in October. Skinner, who has competed in the Rookies Cup for the past two years, will also return for his third and final year.
Rory Skinner: "Having served a two-year apprenticeship in both series thanks to the backing I get from the Foundation, I know I have to hit the ground running this year in order to fulfil the promise that the RSF, DORNA and many others see in me.”
Dan Jones: "This is a fantastic opportunity for me. I can't thank the Foundation enough for the faith they are showing in me. Clearly it's going to be a really steep learning curve for me stepping up from racing on British circuits in national series to competing on Grand Prix circuits in Europe in the Junior World Championship. Fortunately, having raced in the Moriwaki 250 Junior Cup in 2014-15, I have competed on some of the GP circuits I'll be visiting this year. Nevertheless I'll be looking to listen and learn from the likes of Mark Keen and Rory."
Peter Ball, RSF Motorcycle Racing Co-ordinator: "It's good to know that DORNA is now joining the RSF in the quest for talented British juniors which The Racing Steps Foundation started back in 2009. To date the Foundation has borne all the costs of training, developing and managing British youngsters en route to the doorstep of Grand Prix racing due to a dearth of interest from other potential British sponsors. So it's welcome news indeed that DORNA is starting to research the possibilities for an expansion of motorcycle racing in the UK to help nurture the potential Grand Prix winners of the future."