The 250 Silly Season Roundup

After the success of the MotoGP silly season roundup page, we thought it would be useful to draw up a similar list for the 250cc class. The class is looking rather shaky for 2009, as KTM have pulled out of the class due to the impending rule changes due to come into effect in 2011. If Dorna have not secured 15 entries for this championship, then they will be forced to cancel the series, as the FIM rules require a minimum of 15 competitors for any series to be called a world championship.

 

GileraThe Gilera is basically just a rebadged Aprilia, as Piaggio own several brands they can compete on
Marco SimoncelliThe 2008 World Champion was reputedly offered a lot of money to make the step up to MotoGP, but then Piaggio offered Marco even more money to stay.
Mattia Pasini? Simone Corsi?After the withdrawal of Polaris World due to the collapse in the Spanish housing market, Mattia Pasini was suddenly available. Pasini has reputedly asked for a lot of money to sign for a team, though his manager has said that he "now acknowledges market realities."
Simone Corsi is currently 3rd in the 125cc championship race, and has been strong all season.
  
Team AsparThe dominant team in 125 and 250 racing. Missed out on moving to MotoGP, so will be doubly committed to winning the 250 crown.
Alvaro BautistaThe favorite to take Simoncelli's crown. Incredibly talented, but can occasionally lose his head.
Hector Faubel? Mike Di Meglio?The second seat is wide open. Faubel is currently under contract to Aspar, but has hardly set the world on fire. He is Spanish though, something Aspar's sponsors like. Di Meglio isn't and is arguably a bigger threat, and so may not find favor with the Valencian.
  
Aspar '2'The B team, reportedly to be run with Hungarian money.
Gabor TalmacsiThe reigning 125 champion had too many problems to defend his title this year, and will be too old to take another shot in 2009. Is clearly extremely able, and should suit a 250 better than the 125.
  
WRB-PonsSito Pons returns to the grid at last, to the joy of many. Pons last managed a team in MotoGP, losing out by his association with Max Biaggi.
Hector BarberaVery fast, and very wild. A permanent fixture in 250s, and a permanent title challenger.
Axel Pons?Axel is Sito's son, who suffered a horrific crash in the Spanish 125 championship, and is now nearly back to full fitness. Question marks remain over whether he can jump straight into the 250 class from the Spanish series, despite the very high level of competition.
  
Lotus ApriliaRun by Dani Amitriain, which fielded Alex Debon this year, and was Jorge Lorenzo's former team.
Mike Di Meglio? Hector Faubel?See above
Aleix Espargaro?The brother of teenage 125 sensation Pol Espargaro, Aleix is a decent mid-pack rider.
  
Caffe Latte 
Thomas LuthiLuthi was brilliant in the 125s, and has been competitive in the 250s too. Not as strong as Bautista, but has had some bad luck, and a few bad crashes too.
  
AB Cardion 
Karel AbrahamThe Czech rider has had this team built around him by his father, who owns the medical equipment company which sponsors both the team and the Brno MotoGP round. A mid-pack rider.
  
Thai Honda 
Ratthapark WilairotGreat to see riders from outside Europe, the US or Australia. Wilairot has done very well considering the equipment he has been on. Consistently one of the fastest privateers, doubly handicapped by being on a Honda.
Esteve Rabat?Rabat is currently riding for Repsol KTM in the 125 class, and is another product of the Puig stables. But Rabat has yet shown the promise of Puig's other proteges.
  
Repsol Derbi?The team to be run by Alberto Puig. Puig initially wanted KTMs, but after KTM pulled out, Puig approached Aprilia. Repsol, however, were unhappy at racing Aprilias, and so Puig persuaded them to accept Derbis instead. Despite the fact that a Derbi is a rebadged Aprilia.
Esteve Rabat?The most likely backup rider, as Rabat is already working with Puig
Mike di Meglio?See above. De Meglio would be Repsol Derbi's number 1 rider, as reigning 125 champion, but Repsol may prefer a Spaniard.

 

Rides and teams in bold are definite, others are speculation and unsure.

 

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Comments

Just wanted to point out that, although Derbi is now part of the Piaggio group, in their only real market (Spain), they are considered to be a Spanish manufacturer (and I belive most bikes are actually built there). You can think of it as with Seat, even though it's part of VW and built using their technology, they are still considered to be a Spanish manufacturer for many people in Spain.

That said, it's understandable why Repsol would be happier with Derbi than with Aprilia, regardless of the technology beneath, sponsoring is specially about "branding", and Derbi is a Spanish brand.