For the first time in recent history, three Australian’s will line up in MotoGP this evening, one in each class, giving Australian fans plenty to cheer about.
Ducati’s Jack Miller in MotoGP, KTM’s Remy Gardner in Moto2, will be joined by Australian young gun Joel Kelso, aboard the Moto3 CIP- Green Power team, a team Gardner rode for in 2015.
While both Miller and Gardner are genuine Championship hopefuls in their respective classes, with Miller sitting third, and Gardner leading the Moto2 class, Kelso will use his debut today to not only learn on the faster Moto3 machines, but also to impress on the world stage as he chases his dream of becoming a full-time MotoGP rider.
Kelso is to ride the next two rounds, this weekend in Germany at the Sachsenring followed by the Dutch MotoGP at Assen next weekend.
A strong showing in Sachsenring and Assen by the talented Kelso, could open the right doors to provide an opportunity for a permanent ride in the fiercely competitive Moto3 category, where both Miller and Gardner cut their teeth and gained factory rides in Moto2 and MotoGP.
Kelso this year has been competing in the 2021 FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship before he was offered the Moto3 CIP Green Power team ride following a back injury to rider Maximilian Kofler, which sees him miss the next two rounds.
The 18-years-old from Karama in the Northern Territory, who was the Australian Superbike Championship Moto3 Champion in 2017, will have plenty of support from Australian fans over the next two weekends, and will grasp the opportunity with both hands, knowing it could open doors to a permanent ride in the Championship.
Motorcycling Australia spoke to Kelso in Germany before he hits the track today.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity and I’ve just got to grab it by the ropes and make the most of it,” Kelso said.
“I am going into this weekend with no real expectations, just to have fun and show my potential.
“I’ll be learning the new bike and a new track, so I will just have to be patient, have fun and show my potential.
“I’ve got the speed, it’s just a matter of time and I need to be patient and use it when I’m ready.
“Hopefully I end up in a reasonably good position, but my main focus is on doing a good job.”
Kelso thanked CIP-Green Power team for giving him the opportunity to race in MotoGP.
“I will do my best in these World Championship races even though these circuits will be new to me.
“The CIP-Green Power is a strong and experienced team, and I am sure they will help me give my best.
“I wish Kofler a speedy recovery and I also want to thank all my personal sponsors and 111 Management for making these races possible. ”
CIP Green Power team owner, Alain Bronec, said: “Obviously, I wish once again a speedy recovery to Maximilian who still has to rest before coming back to us.
“For the next two races, we trust Joel Kelso, a promising young Australian. He will discover the Sachsenring and Assen, but we are confident he will progress through his two weekends.
“Once again, it is an Australian driver who will wear our colours after Remy Gardner who raced in the team before moving to the next category. We welcome Joel.”
Motorcycling Australia CEO, Peter Doyle, said Kelso was a star of the future.
“We have seen Joel grow up here in Australia winning national championships and move overseas to chase his dream, and it is fantastic to see his skill and hard work in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship provide an opportunity to compete on the biggest stage in MotoGP this weekend,” Mr Doyle said.
“Joel definitely has the talent to compete on the world stage and we would certainly encourage Australian businesses to get behind this young man as he chases his MotoGP dreams.
“We are sure Australian’s back home will be cheering on Joel over the weekend as well as Remy Gardner in Moto2 and Jack Miller in MotoGP, both of whom have very real chances of winning the title in their respective Championships this year.”
Kelso is on track later today for his first Moto3 practice session (from 5pm Australian time), qualifying on Saturday (5pm), and his debut race on Sunday (warm up at 4.40pm and race at 7pm).
Australian fans can catch all the MotoGP action on Fox Sports who will have coverage of each and every practice, qualifying and race, in all three categories starting today, check your local guides.