Marc VDS looks set to run two rookies in MotoGP next season with Thomas Luthi now tipped to ride alongside Franco Morbidelli.

The pair are currently first and second in the Moto2 World Championship, with Morbidelli (Marc VDS Kalex) 26 points clear of the Swiss (Interwetten Kalex).

Morbidelli's promotion to the Belgian-based MotoGP team was announced in June, but VDS then needed a further new signing after Jack Miller's switch to Pramac Ducati.

According to several sources, including, Luthi has now been picked over Sam Lowes and Stefan Bradl to replace the Australian.

Luthi was 125cc world champion back in 2005 and has raced in the intermediate category since 2007, where he has won ten races since the switch to Moto2 four-strokes and was title runner-up in 2016.

The 30-year-old's MotoGP experience is limited to one-off test appearances on a Honda (2005) and more recently KTM (2016), after which team boss Mike Leitner declared: "He was surprisingly good and quick to adjust to our MotoGP bike".

"I was quickly able to be in Mika [Kallio's] range and learn a lot," Luthi stated.


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congrats - hope they are the zarco and folger of next year ..

I said in another thread today that it's a shame Luthi never got the chance in MotoGP considering his success in the other classes. I thought his age would work against him being 30, but if any Moto 2 or Moto 3 rider deserves at least a shot, it's Tom.

Top bloke too. 

Good news for a change.

I don't know how will Luthi perform on a motogp bike, but if there's a man at moto2 that deserves a chance, that man is Tom.

Great news, I'd like to se him do well in Moto GP.

Great to see Luthi get a shot at motogp. But I do have to wonder if some of the teams are getting a bit ahead of themselves.

The biggest reason for the success of Zarco and Folger at Tech3 is the bike. Its the machine that finished 2nd and 3rd last year in MotoGP. Add in some obvious talent on the part of these two guys and the structure of Tech3 and they've had great and deserved results.

But does anyone think the same results would be coming the way of Zarco and Folger if they where on a GP16 Ducati? Or a non factory honda from last year?

I feel everyone is benchmarking Moto2 front runners on Zarco and Folgers results. Which they probably can if they're going to be riding a Yamaha, and last years to boot!

I don't understand what you mean ahead of themselves?  Marc VDS have gone for the (likely) moto2 world champion and runner up. Seems the usual normal choice. Who else would they go for? Small teams do not have enough to hire established riders.

Well lets be honest, Marc VDS went for the guy who could bring half a million Euros in sponsorship to the team from Interwetten and CarXpert. (Which they badly need after they lost their HRC funding.) That's why Luthi is getting the place ahead of former favourite Bradl.

What HRC funding? As far as I understand it HRC leases the bikes, Marc VDS pays for them. Marc VDS pays HRC not the other way around. The only funding the independents teams get is from Dorna.  You mean the Miller contract? Also Marc VDS have big relationship with Estrella Gallicia sponsor? Is this going to change?

The Honda was on top. The Suzuki was fourth in the championship. You can't sum up a bike's performance just by the championship points. And where Honda and/or Ducati were very strong last year, we did not see the guys on the privates bikes at the front. Zarco was. The other rookies ? They crash when being quite slow.


Remember Lorenzo : he didn't have the feeling of the limit. He made fantastic races and also a lot of big crashes. Marquez was as fast as his crash count was rising. If the bike is not easy, you can always perform, at least on qualifications where it's easier to drive one lap at 110%. You've never seen Rabat doing that. Hardly never for Miller. Same for Redding. 


The fanstastic thing with Zarco and (less but still) with Folger, is that they made the things in the right way : keep calm during winter tests, work a lot, don't crash to have a fulltime testing and gaining experience, and find how it works. It's not only the bike's fault ;) Lowes, as always, made a puzzle of his bike and his body the first day at Valencia. We know the end of the story.