With the 2012 MotoGP season starting to wind to a close, and the MotoGP grid largely filled for next season, the riders in the support classes are starting to line up their rides for the 2013. The biggest news so far has been that current Moto3 championship leader and red-hot title favorite Sandro Cortese is to make the move up to the Moto2 class for next season.
According to a report on the official MotoGP.com website, Cortese has signed a two-year deal to move up to Moto2 in a brand new team to be built around two of his current sponsors, Intact Batteries and Kuhn Bau. The team is to be called Intact GP, and Cortese will race a Kalex Moto2 bike in 2013. Intact and Kuhn have been sponsoring Cortese for a number of years, and instead of electing to back a team, they entered their own structure focused around Cortese. Cortese will be joined at Intact GP by Jurgen Lingg, currently crew chief for Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the Ajo KTM Moto3 squad. Ties to KTM will remain for Cortese, however, as according to the Spanish magazine Motociclismo, Cortese will run WP suspension rather than the paddock-standard Ohlins. WP is owned by KTM, and Cortese has had a year's experience on the formerly Dutch and now Austrian brand of suspension.
Another German speaker will be switching teams for 2013. Randy Krummenacher is to join fellow Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter at the Technomag CIP team for next season, according to Swiss publication Speedweek. Krummenacher was forced to switch teams after his current team, GP Team Switzerland decided to pull out of racing at the end of this season. GP Team Switzerland had applied to expand their entry to include a Moto3 slot alongside the Moto2 structure, and had contracted Spanish firebrand Luis Salom for a multi-year period. Their Moto3 entry was turned down, however, on the grounds that the grid was already full. They were offered a slot as an unsupported team, meaning that they would have to pay a 30,000 euro entry fee. GP Team Switzerland owner Marco Rodrigo decided to pull out of racing completely, despite having being given a Moto2 grid slot, leaving Krummenacher without a ride. The Swiss rider's future at GP Team Switzerland was already under threat, however, as the team had been dissatisfied with Krummenacher's performance in 2012, after a promising debut season in 2011.
More rider announcements are expected in the coming weeks, but the entire grid will not be settled until the final GP at Valencia, at the very earliest. Even then, as we have seen with the round of rider swaps which have run throughout the 2012 season, lining up on the grid at Qatar is far from a guarantee of making it through the year and still racing with the same team at the end of the season at Valencia.