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Caterham Moto2 team officially launched
13 October 2013
Race day morning at the Malaysian MotoGP saw Caterham officially confirm its entry into the 2014 Moto2 World Championship.
Former grand prix racer Johan Stigefelt will be team manager of the project, which will be based alongside Caterham's F1 operation at Leafield in the UK.
The team will form a chassis partnership with Suter, while American Superbike champion Josh Herrin confirmed as one of its riders. Negotiations are continuing with Frenchman Johann Zarco over the second seat.
All Moto2 teams use the same, 600cc, Honda-built engines and Dunlop tyres.
"It's a proud day for us to announce our entry into Moto2," said Caterham co-chairman Kamarudin Meranun. "We are partnering with Suter for two years and have signed Josh Herrin, champion of the American Superbike series.
"It's a great day for Caterham. After Formula 1 this is our next step in motorsports, but through Air Asia we have already been sponsoring Zulfahmi [Khairuddin, in Moto3]. So hopefully through this entry we will also be able to develop a lot more Malaysian riders and engineers.
"We hope to develop something great for the country and the sport."
The future could also include the creation of a road motorcycle.
"If you look at Caterham in Formula 1 we partnered with Renault and will be coming out with a car soon," said Meranun. "Eventually and hopefully we will one day follow suit [with a motorcycle]."
"This project opens up new possibilities for developing the bike with the Caterham F1 factory in England," added Eskil Suter, of Suter Racing Technology. "We will share in bike development together."
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta stated: "As you know in Moto2 we have a lot of demand for entries and we need to select them carefully. Caterham are committed to doing things well and are very welcome."
Moto2 is the first official step in motorcycle grand prix racing for Caterham, but the "aspiration and dream" is to race in the premier MotoGP class.
In a press release issued to coincide with the Sepang launch, Herrin is quoted as saying:
"I could not be more excited about the opportunity to race with the Caterham Moto Racing Team. It has been a goal of mine since I was young boy to race in the World Championship and it seems almost surreal now that the opportunity is finally here.
"I have been training very hard and I am ready to fight for great results in the super competitive Moto2 class. I can't thank my manager Bob Moore enough for working so hard to get me on the best team for next year, and I want to thank everyone at Caterham Moto Racing Team for helping make my dream come true."
Caterham is headed by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, founder of Air Asia, Tune Hotels and chairman of English football team Queens Park Rangers.
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