RSF to run Dan Jones in 2017 Moto3 Junior World Championship
Reigning British Moto3 Standard Motorcycle Champion Dan Jones from Mold, Flintshire, is to compete in the 2017 Moto3 Junior World Championship after being selected to join the Racing Steps Foundation-backed KRP squad.
The 15 years-old rising star – 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.
He joins 12-times national junior champion Rory Skinner in the two-rider British line-up announced today. Skinner, aged 15, from Perth, Central Scotland, 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.
The RSF duo will compete on a pair of 2016 ex-works KTM Grand Prix Moto3 machines prepared and tuned by former racer turned team boss Mark Keen.
The eight-round FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) CEV Repsol Junior World Championship – run by Spanish MotoGP rights holder DORNA – features 12 races which will take place on world-renowned circuits in Spain, France and Portugal, including Catalunya, Le Mans and Estoril.
The championship – which is the main feeder series for MotoGP – attracts riders from all over the world and has helped spawn world champions such as Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez over the years.
KRP boss Keen, has run RSF-backed riders in British and international series such as the Junior World Championship since the private, non-profit Foundation unveiled plans in 2009 to find and fast-track talented young British tyros into world championship GP racing.
Early RSF protégé and Moto3 Grand Prix winner John McPhee is currently paving the way for the Foundation’s latest beneficiaries. The 23 years-old Scot, from Oban, Argyll, has a Honda works 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.
With no other British talent available to step up and join McPhee in the squad in 2017, 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 and 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 opportunities to ensure he remains ‘one to watch’. In parallel with his 2017 KRP Junior World Championship ride, the youngster will also race in the international Red Bull Rookies Cup over the course of the season having impressed the series organisers at the selection event in Spain in October.
The one-make, 13-race MotoGP support series – which takes in classic Grand Prix circuits in Europe such as Assen, Spielberg and Misano – gets underway at Jerez on the weekend of 06-07 May.
Dan said: “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.”
RSF motorcycle racing co-ordinator Peter Ball said: “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.”
Source: Racing Steps Foundation