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Moto3 2013: Preview

The 2011 Red Bull Rookie runner-up enters his second full season aboard the KTM, looking to improve upon a consistent 2012 that saw several flashes of speed and a spectacular home podium. He admitted qualifying was a weakness in the past and will hope to rectify that this year. On the basis of his preseason performances, he could improve upon his excellent 7th at the opening round in Qatar last year. He has already set his sights on out-manoeuvring one of his teammates come Valencia.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 15th
Jerez I – 24th
Jerez II – 11th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.619sec
+2.964sec
+1.487sec
Last year's championship placing: 12th
He said: “I just want to be as fast as possible and do much better than last season. A few more podiums would be good, I got one last year and I want more. A few top-three finishes and top six overall is my aim. If I can stay with Zulfahmi in most races I will be happy, maybe I can beat him and then I won't be the third placed Red Bull KTM rider every week!”

#12 Alex Marquez – Spain – Estrella Galicia KTM
The younger of the precociously talented Marquez brothers starts his first full season on the world stage on the back of several competitive rides, first as a wild card, then as a replacement for Simone Grotzkyj, last year. He split his time between this and the Spanish CEV Championship, which he eventually won. His improvement over the off-season has been steady, culminating in an impressive 4th at the second Jerez test. We can expect him to be competing for podiums at the Spanish rounds and top 6s elsewhere.
Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 7th
Jerez I – 15th
Jerez II – 4th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.169sec
+2.396sec
+0.612sec
Last year's championship placing: 20th
He said: “This season I mainly expect to learn and work hard. So the results will come. However, one of the goals is to be rookie of the year and, why not, you also have to dream of making a podium in any race.”

#44 Miguel Oliveira – Portugal – Mahindra Racing
The Mahindra factory has surprised everybody with their pace in the three preseason tests, completely reversing their fortunes from last year. The new bike, developed between their new Swiss base and the Indian factory, has proved to be both reliable and quick. Oliveira is impressed by the engine and is confident the team has found a solid base setting for most tracks. He's been comfortably inside the top ten in all tests and will look to add a first podium for the Indian marquee in 2013.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 10th
Jerez I – 5th
Jerez II – 6th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.227sec
+1.153sec
+1.174sec
Last year's championship placing: 8th
He said:“We have created a good, solid base to start the season. This has been a really good start with no problems with the engine and we have not finished developing the bike yet, so I am sure we can make more improvements. I can't wait until Qatar, as racing is different from testing and so only then will we have a true indication of where we are.”

#99 Danny Webb – Great Britain – Ambrogio Racing Suter Honda
Danny Webb is at the forefront of British hopes in the junior category this year as he looks to put two troubled years with the Mahindra bike behind him. His preseason form has been good, impressing in the wet and finishing the final test as the 2nd fastest Honda. A fall during the final test aggravated an old hand injury, but he'll ride through the pain in Qatar in a bid to finish inside the top ten.

Official pre-season Test Results:
Valencia – 20th
Jerez I – 9th
Jerez II – 12th
Gap from 1st place at above tests:
+1.866sec
+1.671sec
+1.585sec
Last year's championship placing: Did Not Score
He said:"I was really fast but unfortunately I fell and I hit my hand just above an old injury. Before that, whenever we went out on the track, we placed among the best, and often among the five fastest. We have a good working basis for Qatar - there are still some things to fix, but I believe we can get a really good result."

Also watch out for:
#7 Efren Vasquez – The battle-hardened Basque rider has been pleasantly surprised by the consistency and reliability of the Mahindra engine. His testing performances suggest Oliveira won't be the only Mahindra challenging the top 6 on occasions this year.
#41 Brad Binder – Danny Webb's South African teammate followed his strong end of season showing at Valencia with a CEV championship win the following week. He's carried that form into the off-season and was the fastest Honda at the second Jerez test.



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Great racing - Unregistered

March 29, 2013 4:17 PM

I just hope that Honda can keep with Ktm on performance for this year be really great!! It will suck a bit if this end up like 125cc with Aprilia rulling the best chances of Win like it is with Ktm for now.. Aim loocking foward to wach Oliveira winning a race=)

Grendlehop

March 29, 2013 3:51 PM

I loved watching this class last year!! I had a Kawi KLX250SF, which is more of a wannabe supermotard, but I loved wringing its neck and how well it flicked into corners! I especially like how these bikes sound & watching the drafting on the longer straights. Hope Fahmi gets his 1st win soon! He's a good kid & came soooo close at his home race!



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