British rider Danny Kent believes Italian duo Ramano Fenati and Niccolo Antonelli will be dark horses for the 2014 Moto3 world championship.
Kent is back in Moto3 next year after a torrid debut season in Moto2 with the French-based Tech 3 Racing squad and he is expected to be a serious title contender in 2014.
But there will no shortage of tough competition, with Kent predicting the third Moto3 world championship will be a battle between six or seven riders.
With current champion Maverick Vinales and Luis Salom both graduating to Moto2, pre-season title favourite will be Spaniard Alex Rins.
The only question mark surrounding the threat posed by Rins will be how competitive a new Honda machine will be next season, with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 squad running the Japanese factory’s contender after a switch from the dominant KTM.
Kent will race what is effectively a rebadged KTM in the official Husqvarna squad next year and he believes Aussie Jack Miller will be a leading challenger now he has moved to the Red Bull KTM squad.
Miller was the standout rider on the Honda last season but the fact that Fenati and Antonelli will both be on KTM has seen them identified as potential dark horses by Kent.
Fenati will be the lead rider in Valentino Rossi’s new Sky TV supported as the legendary nine-times world champion begins his quest to develop and nurture young Italian talent.
Kent told MCN: “Jack was the fastest Honda and he did a great job and immediately he has been fast on the KTM, so he will definitely be one to watch out for.
"Rins and (Alex) Marquez were fast on the KTM but right now nobody knows what the Honda is going to be like. It will be hard to predict with them but there’s no doubt if the bike is good they will be there.
"But every season there is always someone that will surprise you and is in contention that you perhaps didn’t expect and I think that could be Antonelli or Fenati. Now they are on a KTM they will be fast.”