After 63 years of competition the 125cc World Championship finally makes way for a new category this weekend as the inaugural Moto3 World Championship gets underway in Qatar. Fausto Gresini and San Carlo President Alberto Vitaloni have made their commitment to the development of fresh talent by entering Team San Carlo Honda Gresini into the new series with exciting Italian teenager Niccolò Antonelli on board. The 16-year-old from Cattolica has already impressed onlookers during preseason testing and after three days at Jerez he showed he has the pace to run with the best the new category has to offer. Riding the Honda NS250R he looks safe and confident, without pushing beyond his limits despite his lack of experience. It is an approach that could see him go a long way in the sport, backed by a team that believes he has the ability to be a leading contender in the first ever Moto3 World Championship.

Niccolo’ Antonelli

“The long wait before the start of a new project like this is always a difficult and anxious one. It is an important moment for me and I just can’t wait to experience a Grand Prix for the first time. There is a lot to learn because everything is new to me and I will be trying to take on this amazing opportunity in a calm and rational manner. It certainly won’t be easy but I will be giving it my best shot. I am supported by a team that over the years have proved their great professionalism and that is the best way for me to take on this challenge. It will all be new to me — the circuit and the fact we’re racing at night — so I will be excited because I am young but I also have to be sensible. The Grand Prix of Qatar is an event I have always watched on television and found fascinating so I can’t wait to get out there and experience it for myself.”

Fausto Gresini

“Moto3 has a fresh new image and it is something I wanted to get involved in, as did San Carlo and in particular their President Mr Alberto Vitaloni. We are taking on this challenge together with the same enthusiasm as these youngsters, who are just so natural – they take part as if it were a game and show great love for the sport. It is really nice to see and it will be something of a throwback for me personally, as well as an opportunity to inject a new stimulus into the team at a particularly difficult time in our history. I am pleased with how Niccolò is preparing for this new challenge, showing great control and determination despite his young age. In the official tests at Jerez de la Frontera he was pleasantly surprising but we want to keep our feet on the ground and not expect too much from him too soon. We just want to give him enough of a push to make constant progress without pressure. We have a medium to long-term plan for him and we want him to benefit from the professionalism and enthusiasm that sets us apart as a team.”