FIM CEV Repsol 2017 season gets underway in Albacete this weekend
The FIM CEV Repsol is back in action at the Circuito de Albacete, where this coming weekend the new season of this exciting championship gets under way. The Moto3™ Junior World Championship will once again draw much of our attention. It’s no coincidence that more than 80% of the riders currently competing in the Moto3™ category in the World Championship have passed through the FIM CEV Repsol, from the current champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta, to Joan Mir, Arón Canet, Nicolo Bulega, Bo Bendsneyder, Tony Arbolino, Albert Arenas and María Herrera, just to mention a few from a long list of riders.
Alongside the Italian Lorenzo Dalla Porta, title holder of the 2016 Moto3™ Junior World Championship in the World Championship will be other star riders from last season such as runner-up Marcos Ramírez and the Japanese rider Kaito Toba, ensuring that the battle for the Moto3™ title will be as intense as ever. Every rider knows that the FIM CEV Repsol, where many World Championship teams have their junior teams, is the gateway to the World Championship – a place where dreams become reality….
Raúl Fernández (MRW Mahindra Aspar Team), who finished third last year behind Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Marcos Ramírez, will be another point of reference for a list of up to 49 registered riders. The Moto3™ Junior World Championship is the ideal proving ground, as it reflects the presence of riders from up to 16 different countries, from China to Australia, to Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, France and Russia.
In Moto2™, South African Steven Odendaal (NTS Sportscode T.Pro) will be defending his Moto2™ European Championship title, though this time with a different team and a new bike. The fight in the intermediate category promises to be exciting, with well-known contenders such as Brazil’s Eric Granado (Promoracing) and Augusto Fernández (Easyrace Moto2 Team) as well as new arrivals from Moto3™ like Hector Garzó (Team Wimu CNS).
Albacete will also host the debut of the European Talent Cup, a new category established with the objective of giving the youngest riders an affordable way of competing in a motorcycle championship where all the bikes are the same, to provide a context for developing their potential and eventually leading to a promotion to the Moto3™ Junior World Championship.
Participants in the European Talent Cup are between 13 and 17 (born between 2000 and 2004, inclusive) and will each ride a Honda NSF 250 R with very few modifications to the base model, thus ensuring equality. On this occasion, the European Talent Cup will debut with a two-race program in Albacete, with a total of 28 registered riders.
The Circuito de Albacete will also host a new edition of the European Kawasaki Z Cup, the single-manufacturer competition that this year will be disputed on the new Kawasaki Z900. In the opening event of the season there will be two races, one on Saturday at 18.00 and the other on Sunday at 11.00.
Sunday’s race schedule
European Kawasaki Z Cup (19 laps): 11.00
European Talent Cup race 1 (18 laps): 12.00
Moto2™ (19 laps): 13.00
Moto3™ (19 laps): 14.00
European Talent Cup race 2 (18 laps): 15.00
Cuna de Campeones race 2 (11 laps): 16.00
(*All times local)
In Spain, races will be broadcast live on the Movistar MotoGP channel, which will show all of the scheduled races in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, the Moto2™ European Championship and the European Talent Cup categories. In Italy, Sky will broadcast live the Moto3™ Junior World Championship and the Moto2™ European Championship.
BT Sports (UK) and Eurosport, via Eurosportplayer (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Romania) will also offer coverage of the Moto3™ Junior World Championship, the Moto2™ European Championship and the European Talent Cup with a live broadcast of each of the races.
In the United States through its digital medium, Motor Trend OnDemand will air races in all of the categories; while in Brazil Moto2™ European Championship fans will be able to watch the deferred races on Band Sports.
Covering much of Latin America and North America as well as France, Motorsport.com will offer live broadcasts on demand of each of the races of the three main categories, while its partner MotorSportTV will offer recorded coverage in these areas via TV.
In addition, all of the races will be aired live via the Championship’s Youtube channel.