This weekend sees a spate of rider announcements in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, and the news that Fabio Quartararo has signed for the Leopard Racing team for 2016 is one of the most important. The announcement had been widely expected, after the first news that Quartararo had decided to leave the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team emerged at Indianapolis. Quartararo had expressed a desire to work with Christian Lundberg again, the engineer he worked with in the CEV championship.
Quartararo will line up alongside Joan Mir, who moves up from the CEV for 2016, with a third rider also expected to be announced soon. That, according to GPOne.com, will be Andrea Locatelli, though that is yet to be confirmed. Leopard Racing will also be moving up to Moto2, with an announcement expected this weekend of who will join Miguel Oliveira as their second rider. It seems almost certain that Danny Kent will remain with the squad which has seen him lead the championship, though Kent has remained firmly silent on the matter.
The press release appears below:
LEOPARD RACING SIGNS FABIO QUARTARARO FOR THEIR 2016 MOTO3 CAMPAIGN
Leopard Racing is proud to announce a two-year contract with rising-star Fabio Quartararo to ride the team’s Moto3 machine in 2016.
With just two weeks after the announcement that Leopard Racing will extend their efforts in World motorcycle racing with an entry in the intermediate class in 2016, the team is set to complete their Moto3 riders line up. Leopard Racing is extremely pleased to secure promising youngster Fabio Quartararo for the upcoming seasons. An equivalent agreement was reached at the Gran Premio de Aragón this weekend.
At 16, Fabio Quartararo has already become amongst the big names in this year’s FIM Moto3™ World Championship, his rookie season on world stage, as he made the step from CEV Spanish Championship as a two-time champion in the past two years. Quartararo won these titles in Spain in such a dominant way so that the young Frenchman will make his way up to the premier class in motorcycle racing sure. Due to an ankle-injury sustained last time out in Misano, the Nice born rider has to sit out this weekend’s round 14 of the season at the MotorLand Aragón circuit.
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO:
“I am very proud to join Leopard Racing from 2016. Indeed, I am really excited to work again with Christian Lundberg, the engineer with who I won my first FIM CEV Title in 2013. For the next two years, my career will be linked with this young structure, based on a solid project for the future. It perfectly matches with my goals. I would like to give a huge “thanks” to all people who have supported me till now and also to Leopard Racing for trusting in me. I will keep giving my best at every turn, lap and race to honour the trust they have bestowed on me. I hope guys, you will enjoy it too.”
Miodrag KOTUR (Leopard Racing):
“It is an honor for our still young project to reach an agreement with such a young talented rider as Fabio Quartararo. He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track.At only 16, he already underlined his determined approach to this sport and for many times his huge potential. Therefore, we are pleased to welcome him in our Moto3 line up for 2016. We are pretty sure that Leopard Racing will fight at the fierce end of the highly competitive lower Grand Prix category thanks to his natural born speedy talent from the very first beginning as soon the 2016 season gets underway.”