Features 28 Sep 2023

Countdown: Australians in Moto3

Detailing our riders that have competed full-time in the class on the world stage.

With Red Bull KTM Tech3 announcing Jacob Roulstone in its 2024 line-up, the emerging 18-year-old is set to become the fifth Australian to compete full-time in the Moto3 World Championship. In this Countdown, we chronologically reflect on the riders from our country who have contested a complete campaign in the category.

Image: Supplied.

4. Arthur Sissis (2012-2014):
After finishing second in the 2011 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, South Australian Sissis stepped up to the world championship in 2012 with the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad. In just the fourth race of the season, Sissis scored a solid P5 finish at Le Mans and went on to notch a further four top 10 finishes prior to the Australian Grand Prix. There, the number 61 delivered a memorable performance to secure a popular P3 finish, marking his first podium position in the category at that level. Sissis remained with the team the following season, however, a more challenging campaign saw him finish 15th in the championship standings, with a best result of P6 at Indianapolis. For 2014 Sissis signed with Mahindra Racing, however, he was replaced by Andrea Migno following the Czech Grand Prix that year.

3. Jack Miller (2012-2014):
Miller gained grand prix experience by contesting six 125GP races in 2011 – the year he won the IDM 125cc title – and competed with Caretta Technology on a Honda NSF250R as the lightweight class switched to Moto3 in 2012. On inferior machinery that season, Miller battled hard for whatever results he could muster but a promising P4 in the rain in Germany was a positive sign of things to come. For 2013 he switched to the FTR chassis with Racing Team Germany, and was a frequent top eight finisher, his best result of the year P5 coming on two occasions – San Marino and Phillip Island. Note at this point the KTM engine was far superior, which ultimately led to Honda introducing a faster and revamped NSF250RW from 2014. Miller’s potential on a bike that was underpowered was clear and he secured a prized opportunity with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team for 2014. The Australian came out of the gates firing and won the opening race in Qatar, and with a further five victories and nine podiums throughout the season, narrowly missed taking the championship. Nonetheless, Miller was a solid P2 overall in the lightweight class that year and made the bold decision to bypass Moto2 and step up to MotoGP the following season with the LCR Honda Team.

Image: Supplied.

2. Remy Gardner (2015):
Making three Moto3 World Championship starts in 2014 – twice as a replacement then as a wildcard at Phillip Island – Gardner transitioned to the world championship full-time in 2015 with the Mahindra-equipped CIP team after showing promise in the CEV Championship. Struggling for outright power against his KTM and Honda rivals throughout much of the season, Gardner scored a best result of P10 at Phillip Island, where the fast and flowing nature of the circuit somewhat helped minimise the deficiencies of the MGP30. Gardner would only spend one full year in the Moto3 World Championship before stepping up to Moto2 in 2016 with the Tasca Racing Scuderia team.

1. Joel Kelso (2022 – present day):
Scoring victories in highly-rated championships such as the CEV, Kelso stepped up to compete in the Moto3 World Championship full-time in 2022 with the CIP Green Power team onboard a KTM. Despite missing the France race and Great Britain round with injury, the number 66 showed flashes of potential throughout the year and scored a solid P8 finish at Phillip Island. Kelso switched to the CFMOTO Pruestel GP squad for 2023 and has demonstrated a rapid pace to deliver four front-row qualifying performances. After finishing ninth at Portimao, a freak post-race fall left him injured and sidelined from Argentina and Circuit of The Americas as his best race result since was P9 at Assen. The future of Kelso is currently unclear beyond the 2023 season, as he looks to deliver the best possible finishes in the remaining seven races.