By Lisa Lewis
QMMF's Ant West took to the Mugello circuit for first Friday practice riding a Speed Up chassis, after a surprise switch from Moriwaki.
The former MotoGP
rider took to social networks Facebook and Twitter this morning to confirm the move and show pictures of his new bike, declaring “Surprise! A Birthday Present From My Team (new bike!!!)” on Twitter.
This increases Speed Up's involvement on the grid to three bikes, they are already used by the Speed Master team of Andrea Iannone and their new rider, fellow Italian Alessandro Andreozzi.
Moriwaki's immense change of fortunes in the Moto2 championship now means they only run one bike, that of West's team-mate at QMMF, Elena Rosell.
At the start of the year they were also being used by the Gresini Moto2 riders Ratthapark Wilairot and Gino Rea, who now use Suter.
In 2010 Moriwaki and Elias had secured the championship by the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, with three races remaining. Elias took seven wins in Moto2's opening season.
In 2011 they secured just one win – Michele Pirro crossing the line first in the final race at Valencia for the Gresini team, who dedicated the victory to the late Marco Simoncelli.
So far this season Moriwaki's best finish has been West's seventh place at a wet Le Mans.