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Moto2: FTR continue partnership with ‘exceptional’ Speed Up
27 January 2011
FTR will continue its partnership with the Italian-based Speed Up team for the 2011 Moto2 World Championship.
Speed Up, which undertakes its own development programme for the FTR chassis and puts its own name to the design on official entry lists, was the second most successful team of 2010 - after only world champion's Gresini - thanks to three race wins from nine podiums.
“We're really keen to be able to continue the successful partnership with [team manager] Luca Boscoscuro and the Speed Up Team,” said FTR's Steve Bones. “What they did in 2010 was exceptional and we're sure that they have everything needed to challenge at the front again in 2011.”
But Speed Up will have an all-new rider line-up for 2011, with third in the championship Andrea Iannone, who took all of those Speed Up wins and eight of the podiums, switching to the Speed Master (Suter) team. Former team-mate Gabor Talmacsi is considering a future in WSBK.
In their place will be a new, youthful line-up compromising teenagers Pol Espargaro and Valentin Debise.
Rookie Espargaro is expected to lead the Speed Up challenge after battling for last year's 125cc title. Frenchman Debise is less proven at grand prix level, joining Speed Up after failing to score a point in 2010, when he was the only rider on an ADV Moto2 chassis.
“With Pol Espargaro they should be able to battle for podiums immediately, while Valentin Debise is more of an unknown quantity, but will be fully armed with the best equipment and technical staff so we're hoping he will start to fulfill some of his potential,” said Bones.
Bones also credited Speed Up with helping to take the whole FTR chassis project forward.
“Extending the relationship with the Speed Up team's technical staff is also important for the development of our new chassis and we're thankful to the team for their 2010 efforts, feedback and data that has helped us improve the FTR Moto2 machine extensively for 2011,” he said.
In addition to Speed Up, FTR will be supporting six other riders in Moto2 2011.
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