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Tech 3 names Moto2 riders, Romagnoli joins
10 November 2009
Tech 3 has announced the signing of rising 250cc star Raffaele de Rosa and MotoGP refugee Yuki Takahashi to ride its own-built motorcycle in next year's inaugural Moto2 World Championship.
“I am delighted that Tech3 has been able to attract such high calibre talent for our new and exciting Moto2 project," said team manager Herve Poncharal.
22-year-old Italian de Rosa was Rookie of the Year in the 2009 250cc World Championship, claiming sixth overall - and two podiums - as team-mate to champion Hiroshi Aoyama at Scot Honda.
"Raffaele is without doubt one of the hottest young talents we've seen for a long time and I am proud and excited about the prospect of working with him,” said Poncharal, also president of IRTA. “I presented the Rookie of the Year award to him last weekend and he has impressed me a lot in 2009 and I can't wait to start working with him.
"I have always looked at our Moto2 team as an opportunity to develop young riders who may one day show they deserve a chance to move into MotoGP with us. I genuinely believe Raffaele has the potential to be a MotoGP rider in the future. I'm also thrilled that Yuki has joined Tech 3.”
Takahashi, who lost his Scot Honda MotoGP ride due to financial reasons after just seven rounds of his rookie 2009 season, will follow in the footsteps of fellow Japanese riders Shinya Nakano, Norick Abe and Makoto Tamada in riding for Tech 3.
Previously a life-long Honda rider, the 25-year-old finished fifth in the 2008 world 250cc championship and has won two races.
"The French and Japanese connection at Tech3 has always worked well, particularly with Shinya Nakano, who we had a long and successful relationship with,” said Poncharal. “I've no doubt that Yuki's arrival will be very positive for us. He has had a lot of bad luck recently but I can see he is very determined and highly motivated to be part of our project.”
Tech 3 also revealed that Jorge Lorenzo's former Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team manager Daniele Romagnoli has joined the project as crew chief for de Rosa. Romagnoli had been a crew chief for Edwards at the factory Yamaha team, but was promoted to team manager when Lorenzo arrived in 2008.
Despite winning five races with Lorenzo, and helping the Spaniard to second in this year's MotoGP World Championship, Romagnoli wanted a return to a more hands-on role for 2010.
"I'm very happy that Daniele Romagnoli has agreed to join us,” commented Poncharal. “He has a top profile but more importantly he brings a lot of technical expertise and experience with him. I've no doubt that he will be a huge asset and his input will be vital in helping us develop the new bike."
Gary Reynders - who recently worked as crew chief for Colin Edwards (2008) and James Toseland (2009) at Tech 3's Yamaha MotoGP team - will become Takahashi's crew chief.
Ben Spies, who has replaced Toseland, is bringing his own crew chief Tom Houseworth to the MotoGP part of the Tech 3 operation.
The Tech 3 team will debut its new Moto2 contender with de Rosa in Valencia at a two-day test on December 9-10. Takahashi is due to embark on a rigorous winter training regime before making his debut in early 2010.
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