Following two years of competition in the premier class, Alex de Angelis will step down to the all-new Moto2 Championship in 2010, it has been confirmed – after the Gresini Racing Honda refugee agreed terms with Scot Racing for the campaign ahead, what he stresses he hopes will be strictly a single-year endeavour ahead of a return to the top in 2011.
de Angelis' time in MotoGP yielded a solitary podium finish – second place to Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo in the 2009 Indianapolis Grand Prix – and both he and evenly-matched team-mate Toni Elías were let go by their employer at the end of the season in favour of Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli.
With no berths available for him at the highest level, the Rimini native has elected to throw in his lot with Scot Racing, which this year competed with Gábor Talmácsi and Yuki Takahashi in MotoGP before pulling the plug on its involvement after just one season.
The San Marino-based operation has also run bikes in 250cc and 125cc – victoriously in the former in 2009, with Hiroshi Aoyama lifting the riders' laurels – and in joining forces with the Cirano Mularoni-led outfit, de Angelis acknowledges that he should immediately feel at home, given that the factory is based little more than 200 metres from his house.
“I am happy to collaborate on a project in which I feel like the standard-bearer of my nation,” enthused the 25-year-old. “In a sense, I could define the Scot Racing Team as my home team; I have known everyone there for many years, and some of them even drink coffee in the same bar as me! They have won two world championship titles, and now we are working together to build a winning project in 2010, a prelude to my return to MotoGP the following year.”
“It's been some time that we have been thinking of Alex de Angelis as a rider for our team,” added Mularoni. “It is an all-San Marino dream, that we would have liked to have accomplished in MotoGP, but that will begin in the new Moto2 class – an innovative championship that I think will offer a very interesting show.
“Our team, with a world title in its pocket, could only aspire to the strongest available riders – and I want not only to try to maintain that winning record, but also to participate in this new adventure with one of my neighbours, which bestows upon the challenge a lot of significance.
“Alongside Alex will be Niccolò Canepa, an expert on four-stroke; not only will the Genoese rider be one of the benchmarks in the championship, but we are also counting upon his skills as a test rider for the development of our prototype. We are conscious of having created a bike that takes advantage of all the know-how from years of high-level competition – but we must not neglect the delicate post-production testing.”
de Angelis and Canepa will ride the new GP209, based upon an adjustable aluminium chassis, which will soon undergo secret development tests on-track.
“I am very pleased we have reached this agreement,” summarised Fabio Berardi, San Marino secretary of state for tourism and sport. “Alex deserves lots of podiums for what he has done up to now, and I cannot hide my satisfaction at seeing him riding a 'blue-white' bike, developed and designed in our territory by a Sanmarinese. This winning combination increases the value of our republic and gives a more complete sense to our grand prix. A sincere 'good luck' to Alex, Cirano Mularoni and all at Team Scot for this new adventure.”