Latest 2011 Moto2 Line-Up: West, Talmacsi, Fores All Confirmed

The Moto2 rider line-up for 2011 is slowly starting to take something resembling its final shape, with more and more riders signing contracts to ride next year. Kenan Sofuoglu's signing for the Technomag CIP squad provided one catalyst, provoking a spate of moves to secure the known quantities for next season at the Valencia test. The prime mover in that chase was the team that Sofuoglu turned down, with Gresini securing former Tech 3 rider Yuki Takahashi to take the place of the departing Moto2 champion Toni Elias, with Sofuoglu's former Ten Kate Honda World Supersport teammate Michele Pirro taking the second seat in the biggest team in Moto2.

The Tech 3 team had earlier announced the signing of Bradley Smith and Frenchman Mike di Meglio to take the place of the departing Yuki Takahashi and the disappointing Raffaele de Rosa - the Italian being tipped for a return to the 125cc class, along with Hector Faubel (signed for Bancaja Aspar), Joan Olive and Sergio Gadea. Meanwhile, the other hottest seat in Moto2 - the one left vacant by Di Meglio - has been filled by one of the two riders making the jump from the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship, Xavi Fores signing with the Mapfre Aspar team for 2011, joining his CEV Moto2 rival Kev Coghlan on the world stage.

Over at the Jack&Jones team, the gap left by Joan Olive has been filled by former Speed Up rider Gabor Talmacsi, according to the Hungarian press, with the team also ditching the Harris chassis in favor of the more competitive Suter. And speaking of uncompetitive chassis, Ant West has finally given in and signed a contract extension with MZ, where he will be joined by former WSBK rider Max Neukirchner. The team is to be run by Peter Rubatto and Marco Nicotari, the latter formerly responsible for the Pro-Ride Honda WSBK squad, that never made it to the grid last season. MZ is also to enter a squad in the Spanish CEV Moto2 championship, which they will use to help develop the MZ's tubular steel trellis chassis. There have been persistent rumors that the managers of both West and Neukirchner have been trying to persuade the man behind the MZ chassis, Martin Wimmer, to run an FTR chassis alongside the MZ - or even to replace the MZ chassis altogether - to give the team a baseline to use to develop the steel chassis against. Wimmer, however, is not keen on such a solution, preferring to continue work on his brainchild using the data from the two riders and the new CEV team.

The most striking difference between the list from 2010 and that of 2011 is the drastic reduction in the number of chassis. Where last year there were 13 different chassis on the grid - though the Speed Up bike successfully campaigned by Andrea Iannone and Gabor Talmacsi was really an FTR with bodywork refinements by the team themselves - in 2011, there will be just 6 chassis makers, and possibly as few as 5. Suter is the big winner from the 2010 season, the Swiss chassis builder having provided extensive support and a clever range of price options for teams, matched to suit just about any budget. FTR, Moriwaki and Kalex have all been forced to improve in these areas, with FTR due to greatly expand their service levels for 2011, with a truck expected to be at all of the European rounds for next season. Despite the problems, FTR and Kalex will both be expanding their presence in the World Championship for next season, with FTR fielding at least 7 bikes, and Kalex doubling its involvement from 2 to 4 machines, with the addition of the Viessmann Kiefer squad to the Tenerife Pons team.

While most of the seats are already taken, two desirable seats remain open. Alex de Angelis still has no partner at the JiR Moto2 squad, though there is every likelihood this could stay that way, while at Forward Racing, the seat alongside Jules Cluzel also remains vacant. 2010 Forward rider Claudio Corti had a pretty strong rookie year, and could still be in the frame for either of these seats.

Here's the Moto2 line-up as we know it so far:

Team Bike Rider 1 Rider 2
Aeroport de Castello FTR Kev Coghlan  
Forward Racing Suter Jules Cluzel ???
G22 Racing Team Suter Fonsi Nieto Yannick Guerra
Gresini Racing Moriwaki Yuki Takahashi Michele Pirro
Holiday Gym Racing * Moriwaki Xavier Simeon  
Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 * Suter Thomas Luthi  
Iodaracing Project FTR Simone Corsi Mattia Pasini?
Italtrans Racing Team Suter Roby Rolfo? ???
Jack & Jones by A. Banderas Suter Kenny Noyes Gabor Talmacsi
JIR Moto2 Motobi Alex de Angelis ???
Mapfre Aspar Team Suter Julian Simon Xavi Fores
Marc VDS Racing Suter Scott Redding Mika Kallio
Monlau Competicion * FTR Marc Marquez  
MZ Motor MZ/FTR Max Neukirchner Ant West
QMMF Racing Team Suter Mashel al Naimi ???
Racing Team By Quereseno FTR Esteve Rabat Yonny Hernandez?
Stop and Go Racing Team Bimota/FTR? Ratthapark Wilairot Lukas Pesek?
Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 Bradley Smith Mike di Meglio
Technomag CIP Suter Kenan Sofuoglu Dominique Aegerter
Tenerife 40 Pons Kalex Axel Pons Aleix Espargaro
Tuenti Speed Up FTR Pol Espargaro  
Viessman Kiefer Racing Kalex Stefan Bradl Randy Krummenacher
WTR/Speed Master Team * Suter Andrea Iannone  

 

* Single rider team
name? - Rider not yet certain
??? - Rider unknown / to be announced
 

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Comments

Thanks a bunch for the provisional overview. With so many teams and riders in the class it's hard to keep track of all the signings and rumours. A handy list like this is much appreciated.

I hope Tech3 and MZ can make a step next year.
I wonder what kind of feedback Colin Edwards gave the former.
Good luck to Poncharal, Coulon, and Wimmer.

I don't consider Tech3 so much an underdog, they've scored a win this year (albeit because of Iannone disqualification, but they were still good for second). But it is true that they are the unique established GP team to develop their very own Moto2 bike, this is a huge effort for them, and hopefully with Smith (and Di Meglio if he regains confidence) they can improve a lot.
MZ...well it hurts me to see that West couldn't find a better ride. He's always been riding underdogs (private 250GP, Kawasaki MotoGP, Stiggy Honda SSP and now MZ Moto2), he proved when he had the opportunity (begining of the 2008 season, before his team bailed out) that he was a threat for podiums and wins but never got the right opportunity.
I was so excited when he has been announced joining Moto2, plus he wasn't so bad during the pre-season tests...but they did not really improve compared to the rest of the field. I really hope he gets a shot at a competitive Moto2 one day...

Thanks for the list! I really wonder how the Turk will come up in 2011. Early laps of his first appearance in moto2 was really promising. And still remember the extraordinary battle with Eugene in Imola. Looks like, the next year would be helluva good racing season. Both in MotoGP and Moto2 and with Marquez 125GP! Hallelujah..

Poor Westy.... should have take up that World Super Sport ride with Yamaha when it came about.. he would have gotten paid ( for once) pick up a world title and now be in superbikes maybe with a world title..

yes agreed, ant has somehow ended up with a less than a perfect solution each year - although the stiggy supersport bike looked the goods early (don't know what happened here....)
just the mention of the pro-ride connection made me shiver - sadly i see ants ride dissaperaing after round 3.
:(

Money isn't the problem for the MZ team - they were offering West a very attractive deal - the problems are the chassis and some organizational difficulties. With Nicotari taking over the running of the team, it is possible some of those problems may go away, and the word is that the battle over the chassis is not yet done.

Besides Kenny Noyes. is there any rumor that Disalvo, or anyother american racers may join the series? it would be nice to have a rider I know a little history about to root for. I was all for Noyes on pole in France but I have lost touch with the series as of recent because to many names to follow and I don't know a single one.

Granted this season will be a little better but I am still at a loss.

Thanks david the site is much appreciated. If you covered AMA Road I would look nowhere else for my MOTO news...

As far as I know, there will be no more Americans in Moto2. There are still seats open, which Di Salvo could take, but I haven't heard where he's going next year. I think there's a bigger chance of an Australian or two coming to the series, as I know Damian Cudlin raced really well at the Sachsenring and impressed a lot of people. But nothing is certain yet.

As for the AMA, right now, we don't have the resources to cover that series (nor the BSB either). I would suggest you follow that series on Superbikeplanet.com, as our good friends over there have pretty decent coverage of the AMA.

Thanks David,

I do follow on Roadracingworld, Asphaltand rubber and superbike I just love your coverage, and I understand the whole logistics thing for BSB and AMA. Its too bad our US coverage sucks

Hello all, new one from méxico, it will be very interesting the new lineup for Moto2, Marquez will compete with Monlau, but also dont forgive sofuoglu, that guy show up much of his potential in estoril, am think than the people than will battle for the new title of the championship will be as Follows

Sofuoglu, Two times champion of WSS, know everything about the CBR600 the engine than all the bikes of moto2 use.

Marquez, Champion of 125, Dominating in 125cc and claiming the title as the second most younger rider than win a world championship, will be a very serious contender against sofuoglu.

Iannone, The italian has show us than can be very aggresive and effective in his running, as showed up in montmelo, mugello, assen, now iannone will have all support just for him, it's bad than Fimmco Speed up has changed so drastic.

Redding, another younger with hungry of glory, the boy also show than dont matter about the age, it's how use the bike and do it well.

that's are my four candidates for the title in the upcoming 2011, also my vote for champion of 2011 will be sofuoglu.