Repsol's chances of winning all three motorcycle grand prix championships in 2012 have gone up a notch with the announcement that last year's rookie 125cc star Maverick Vinales has signed with the Spanish energy company for the new Moto3 catagory.
The 17-year-old, who won for races on his way to third in the final season of 125cc competition, thus joins Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa (MotoGP), Marc Marquez (Moto2), plus Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins (Moto3) in Repsol colours.
"I am very excited to be riding for a sponsor like Repsol this season, as Repsol have been a force behind a great number of victories in the World Championship,” said Vinales. “Many great riders have received their support and I am honoured to be joining this elite group.
"The big three current Repsol riders - Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez - have won titles, and this is my aim for 2012. I can only hope to follow the path that other Repsol riders have established in the World Championship and take many wins this year.
"Now it is time for me to test in Valencia and we will be trying out many of the improvements that have been made over the winter".
The agreement between the Avintia Competición (BQR) team - for whom Vinales will ride an FTR Honda - and Repsol runs until the end of the year. Vinales' team was backed by Paris Hilton last year.
Stoner is the reigning MotoGP champion while Marquez finished runner-up in Moto2 last year.