By Layla Williams
Kyle Ryde will make it to the grid on Easter weekend to defend his number one plate in the newly combined 125cc and Moto3 championship, after two sponsors stepped in to save the reigning British 125cc champion's season.
Original plans would have seen him racing a Moto3 in the Spanish Championship and competing in selected BSB rounds alongside his Red Bull Rookie duties, but persistent funding issues ended those hopes.
The last rider you would expect to be struggling to find a seat would be Britain's youngest ever road racing champion, at the age of 14 years and 3 months, who clinched the title despite missing an entire round and starting at the back of the grid twice, due to his Red Bull Rookie commitments (pictured).
However that was the position Ryde found himself in after a major sponsor pulled out.
In the current economic climate all riders are struggling to find funds, but Janine Ryde - Kyle's mother - was still surprised at the struggles they've had.
“With people making comparisons to Casey Stoner we were surprised when no offers for a ride or sponsors came for 2012, only small previous sponsors stayed with us. When people were saying he was going to be a future world champion we were a bit taken aback when no one came forward to help make it happen.”
Ryde will now race in the British Championship full time for 2012 and again compete in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. The full identity of the team and sponsors will be revealed in a press release over the coming weeks.
The past week has started to pull together concrete plans for this season with the help of the new sponsors, but it will involve starting the year on a borrowed 125cc bike before moving onto the new Moto3 machine at Oulton Park at the earliest.
Janine explained: “Unfortunately we just could not find the funds [for the Spanish Moto3 ride] which is a real shame for Kyle because he competed at the last rounds in November where he did fantastic finishing in 12th and sixth, but we are only just finishing to pay for it now. We are only just managing to get him the funds to race in the BSB series so who knows what will happen when he definitely needs to move up.”
Kyle's Moto3 bike is coming from Japan and is expected at the end of March, but the spare parts are not available until after Thruxton making it impossible to race until then. As a result, 125 National Thundersport competitor Neil Durham has stepped in to run Ryde on his Moto Strada RSW Aprilia 125 until the new bike is ready.