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Moto2: Ratthapark Wilairot returns with JPMoto

World Supersport race winner Ratthapark Wilairot back in Moto2.
Ratthapark Wilairot will return to Moto2 as a replacement for Zaqhwan Zaidi at the JPMoto Racing Team.

Wilairot surprisingly split from the CORE World Supersport team just a few rounds after his memorable home victory in the inaugural Thai event. He will now return to the intermediate grand prix class where he raced full time from 2007-2012, with a best finish of fourth.

Wilairot then 'retired' midway through a difficult 2013 season with Gresini, before signing-up for WSS with PTR/CORE the following year. The 27-year-old combined last season's Supersport campaign with rides for Caterham Suter in Moto2, signing for the new look CORE (Honda) team in 2015.

Rookie Zaidi has not finished higher than 23rd this year, riding one of only two full-time Suter entries.

"With deep regret, JPMoto Racing Team announced that rider Zaqhwan Zaidi has informed us he will not be continuing with the team for the remainder of the Moto2 season," said a team statement.

"Though it was difficult news for JPMoto, the team fully respect Zaqhwan's decision and believe it is for the good of both parties, as the two parties parted ways on a mutual understanding.

"JPMoto Racing's Moto2 project nevertheless will continue. Despite the short time of preparation for the next race in Barcelona this weekend, JPMoto has secured the services of experienced Thai Moto2 rider Ratthapark Wilairot. The team would like to stress that their quest to create the next champion Malaysian rider has not taken a backseat. Unfortunately, it is simply not advisable to put a rookie Malaysian rider in such short notice at this mid-season without jeopardising his future career or compromising safety.

"For the remainder of the season, the team will continue to focus on the development of other aspects of this Malaysian team, and we believe Ratthapark is the best person to contribute to this further learning process. The team will also explore on how Rattapark can play a role in the development of JPMoto's next Malaysian rider.

"The team also stress we have not shut the door on Zaqhwan. He is a good Malaysian rider with high potential to become a world class racer. As we wish Zaqhwan well in the next step of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy gives an early notice for us to identify the next generation of Moto2 riders."

Tagged as: moto2 , Wilairot

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June 09, 2015 12:47 PM

Not sure what Wilairot is up to at the moment. Had his time in Grand Prix and then retired mid-season, then came out of retirement less than a year later to race in Supersport, ditched Simon Buckmaster's team to race for a team built around him, won his home race at Buriram and lead the Championship, then parted with that team and has turned back up as a full-time rider in Moto2. Either way, it's probably good for Zaidi to have left the team because he clearly wasn't at that 'level' required to be in Grand Prix and it wouldn't have helped that he was one of only two riders on a Suter. He's young though so he has plenty of time to come back, and he probably has a ton of money from Malaysia to help in get back into GP's when he's ready.

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