clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Motor Oil's 2016 Moto3 Preview

A new champion will be crowned this year, but which of the baby class will become a world beater?

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Moto3 never disappoints. Ever. There is always a battle. There are always insane overtaking moves. There are always blazing rows. It is the purest, most incredible spectacle on two wheels. Sure, MotoGP has the best riders, and Moto2 has a lot of talent, but for the thrillseekers amongst you, you need to be watching Moto3. It's worth the early Sunday morning.

The thing is, it's hard to preview this helter skelter. You can barely predict if a rider is going to finish a race, never mind win the championship. Alas, it falls upon me to try.

A brief refresher

Moto3 has existed since 2012, when it replaced the 125cc world championship. I miss those little wasps.

Each Moto3 bike has a 250cc, single cylinder engine. Like MotoGP, and unlike Moto2, it is open to any manufacturer. The combination of bike and rider must be at least 148kg (326lbs, or 23st 4lbs in old money). Riders must be 28 or younger, and newbies must be 25 or under - including wildcard entrants.

Guaranteed new world champion

Last year, Danny Kent was the most consistent of the field, the British rider becoming the first world champion from the UK since Barry Sheene. If you don't know who Barry Sheene is, firstly shame on you, secondly use your preferred search engine and look him up. Incredible man.

Kent, however, does not defend his world title. He is making the step up to Moto2, meaning that we are guaranteed a new champion. Who will that person be?

The main contenders

With Kent out of the picture, his fiercest rival from last year, Enea Bastianini, must be one of the favourites to take the title this year. He is your typical hard-nosed Italian racer, not afraid of getting physical if necessary, and a damn good rider to boot. He will definitely be a strong contender.

As well as Bastianini, you could look to others who gave Kent some trouble last year. Look out for Brad Binder, Niccoló Antonelli, Romano Fenati and Jorge Navarro.

It would also be wise to keep an eye on Kent's former team, Leopard Racing. Having curiously taken KTM engines on board despite winning a world title with a Honda, you can guarantee that they will have a competitive bike. Of their three riders, expect the exceptionally-talented Fabio Quartararo to mount the hardest challenge for the title.

Elsewhere in the field, Maria Herrera cannot be overlooked. A woman who is in the field on talent alone, she can mix it with the best of them. She'll pick up plenty of points.

Team Engine Riders
CIP-Unicom Starker Mahindra 3 Fabio Spiranelli 24 Tatsuki Suzuki
Gresini Racing Honda 4 Fabio Di Giannantonio 33 Enea Bastianini
Sky Racing VR46 KTM 5 Romano Fenati 8 Niccolo Bunega
16 Andrea Migno
MH6 Laglisse KTM 6 María Herrera
Drive M7 SIC Honda 7 Adam Norrodin 84 Jakub Kornfeil
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 9 Jorge Navarro 44 Arón Canet
MC Saxoprint Peugeot 10 Alexis Masbou 17 John McPhee
RW Racing Honda 11 Livio Loi
RBA Racing KTM 19 Gabriel Rodrigo 58 Juan Francisco Guevara
Leopard Racing KTM 20 Fabio Quartararo 36 Joan Mir
55 Andrea Locatelli
Aspar Mahindra 21 Francesco Bagnaia 88 Jorge Martin
Ongetta-Rivacold Honda 23 Niccolo Antonelli 95 Jules Danilo
Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra 40 Darryn Binder 98 Karel Hanika
Red Bull Ajo KTM 41 Brad Binder 64 Bo Bendsneyder
3570 Team Italia Mahindra 43 Stefano Valtulini 77 Lorenzo Petrarca
Schedl GP KTM 65 Philipp Öttl
Team Asia Honda 76 Hiroki Ono 89 Khairul Idham Pawi

Our coverage of the 2016 Moto3 season starts tomorrow with a preview of this weekend's Qatar GP. Come back and check it out, and stick with us for every race weekend in 2016.