The Pons racing team today issued the following press release, announcing that Hector Barbera and Lorenzo Baldassarri will be racing for them in Moto2 in 2018:
Héctor Barberá and Lorenzo Baldassarri are the new Pons HP 40 team riders
Youth and experience are the common denominators for the 2018 season. One clear goal: becoming World Champions.
Pons HP 40 will welcome Héctor Barberá y Lorenzo Baldassarri as the team’s new official riders.
Barberá will step down from MotoGP after 8 seasons, to join Sito Pons team where he actually already raced back in 2009. Both the rider as well as the team have great memories of what turned out to be the last 250cc season where they ended up in second position with 3 victories, 8 podiums and 4 pole positions. After a not so competitive set up in MotoGP, Barberá will debut in Moto2 with one sole objective: that of becoming world champion. Without a doubt, Barberá is poised to be at the centre stage of next season.
On the other side of the box is Lorenzo Baldassarri. The young, 19-year-old rider, won the Red Bull Rookies Cup en 2011. His first debut in Moto3 was in 2013 to then quickly move onto Moto2, where he accomplished great results – showing a winning attitude. A rider of huge potential, fast, steady and constant that was able to successfully compete with riders such as Pol Espargaró, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins
The team thanks their current riders Fabio Quartararo and Edgar Pons. Although their results were not as expected, both riders showed tenaciousness in their work and are still currently fighting in the championship with their heads high. The whole team wishes them both the best in their next endeavors.
"From the first year I arrived in the World Championship I have always been fighting to win races, achieving two runners-up, but after eight years in MotoGP the goals have not been achieved, as it is a championship in which more means are needed beyond the rider. When I saw the opportunity to return to Sito Pons team I did not think it. Together we were second in the overall world standings, winning several races and I think I'm in the moment to risk and make such a decision. I am very excited and I have the motivation to start this new project. I also want to thank Avintia Racing who facilitated the termination of the contract. The goal is none other than to fight to win races and the championship. It will not be easy but I am at my best: I have the experience, I am physically and mentally prepared, and both Sito and his technical team, led by Santi, can give me what it takes to achieve it. Grateful to Sito and the sponsors for the trust placed in me and I want to return it with results."
"I am very happy to be part of the Pons HP 40 team for the next season and I want to thank Sito Pons and VR46 for their confidence in this new opportunity in my sports career. I don’t see the time to start working together, but before I have to focus in my current team, give the maximum and finish the year achieving the best possible results."
"I am very happy with the calibre of our team for the next season. Welcoming Héctor Barberá back in the team a great news. He’s a very fast rider who has fought at the highest levels, knows the team and I am sure we will be able to aim high in the championship. With regards to Baldassari, we’ve been following him closely and we are extremely happy to have him in the team. Despite his young age, he stands out for being very constant, talented and for avoiding mistakes - paramount in such a competitive category such as Moto2. I am sure that both riders will impress us from the beginning."