Australian Joel Kelso will become a CFMOTO rider in 2023, with the 19-year-old to join the company’s German-managed Moto3 world championship campaign.

The Darwin native will join Xavier Artigas in the CFMOTO Racing Pruestel GP effort, with the team to continue using KTM equipment.

“First of all, I’m really excited about this new project for next year, being a part of the team and racing for CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP,” said Kelso. “Honestly, the goal is to be in the front in most of the races and I think it’s a doable task for me.

“Especially since the team is very strong, experienced and competitive. I want to show my speed, so I’m grateful to have the opportunity at CFMOTO to fight for podiums.”

After few guest appearances in 2021, Kelso is currently in his first full year of Moto3 competition with the CIP Power outfit, where some incredibly bad luck has been interspersed with bouts of serious speed – but the scatter graph has confirmed he has what it takes to compete at the top level.

Despite missing a number of races with injury – the worst a broken right ankle after being shunted off the track at Assen – he’s still a respectable 22nd in the standings with a best result of ninth at Jerez.

Like Kelso, CFMOTO is also embarking on a fledgling Moto3 campaign, with Carlos Tatay in ninth position and Artigas 12th with six rounds remaining. Tatay scored the team’s first podium at round two in Indonesia.

Kelso first moved to Europe at the age of 15, and has competed in the Superport 300 World Championship as well as the Italian and Spanish Moto3 titles. In 2021, he was fourth in the 2021 Moto3 Junior World Championship.

Kelso will be at Phillip Island from October 14-16 for the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, and his last ride for CIP Power will be at Valencia on November 6 before he switches his attention to his new collaboration with CFMOTO Racing Pruestel GP.

The 2023 MotoGP title will commence in Portugal from March 24-26.