Guest Blog: The New Faces of Moto3, part 1.

By Sam Carnall (@RealSamCarnall)

The Red Bull Rookies is one stepping stone into Moto3

I feel that it is important that the fans of the sport of MotoGP are informed of the careers of the young racers who step up to the Moto3 class, because as you will know, they have come from a variety of domestic and international classes, including the Red Bull Rookies. You will know about the new faces of Moto2 and MotoGP on the other hand, because the riders are likely to have come up from the corresponding class below. With Moto3 it is different because the riders have come from less well known, less publicised classes scattered around the globe. Here they are with a short summary of their careers so far, one by one. 

Juanfran Guevara
This is the rider that came 4th overall last year in the CEV Buckler Moto3 class and has made a few wildcards in the Moto3 class in the past two years, notably at Aragon and Valencia. Clearly fast and talented, the young Spaniard managed to get pole at the CEV round at Aragon last season and also a win at the second Albacete meeting. He has also looked fast in testing, especially in the wet at Jerez this morning and looks to have a solid season with the CIP Technomag team this season alongside Frenchman Alan Techer.
Ana Carrasco
The first female rider in the lightweight class since 2003, as well as the first in the Moto3 class and the first Spanish female, Carrasco had an up and down season last year in the CEV and finished just outside the top 10. However, she has been established in that championship for a couple of years now and will be hoping to prove that she is worthy of a place in the JHK T-shirt Laglisse team, one of the best in the business. She has certainly shown flashes of promise in testing and has in theory the best of the lot to learn from in title favourite Maverick Vinales, who has been setting the pace so far in testing.

Philipp Oettl
Oettl (centre) was third in last year’s RBR

Son of 90s 500cc star Peter Oettl, young German Philipp has definitely had a strong 2012, coming runner up to Alex Marquez in the CEV Moto3 class and even winning the opening race at a soaked Jerez, whilst maintaining consistency throughout the year when various others lost their heads more than once, and to top the season off he also competed at the final Moto3 world round at Valencia where he finished in a very solid points paying position with a measured ride. Finally, during his busy 2012 Oettl raced in the Red Bull Rookies cup and finished 3rd overall, just behind Florian Alt and Scott Deroue, after he was hampered with an illness at Brno and carious crashes thereafter, but he looks more than ready to step up and his results more than prove that. Will he be Germany’s next MotoGP superstar? 

Eric Granado
After a season in Moto2 with the JIR team last season from Silverstone onwards, as well as racing in the CEV Moto2 class until that point, Granado frankly struggled in both championships last season, never really troubling the scorers in either bar one or two CEV races. However, this was not really surprising as he is experienced and just 16 years old, very young to be riding at such a high level. He is the first Brazilian to race at world championship level since Alex Barros back in 2007 and this year will race with the Aspar team in Moto3. Granado has more than sufficient funding behind him to afford the ride, although Jorge Martinez isn’t exactly short of sponsors at the moment and not one to take on paid riders. What Martinez is good at though is talent spotting, so from an in depth point of view, he definitely has the talent too, and there have certainly been flashes of form in testing.
Livio Loi
The young Belgian Loi spent 2012 competing in the Red Bull Rookies championship and was a midfield runner until the midpoint of the year when he found a rich vein of form and began to consistently fight for wins and securing his singular victory of the year in a red flagged race 2 at Brno in August. In addition to this, Loi competed in the CEV Moto3 championship for the final two rounds with a best result of second in the final round at Valencia, as well as competing in the UEM European Championship round at Albacete too, impressing many with his solid finishes and flashes of raw speed, as well as the fact that he rarely crashes, which is a good combination for a young rider wanting to make it to the top at world championship level. Riding for the Marc VDS team in Moto3 this season, he has an array of talented people around him, and with a good bike at his disposal, Loi could prove to be one of the surprises of Moto3 2013.

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