Rory Skinner gets Moto2 wild-cards for Silverstone, Austria

Rory Skinner will switch from British Superbike to the Moto2 World Championship for the Silverstone and Red Bull Ring rounds.
Rory Skinner
Rory Skinner

The young Scotsman, who holds fourth in the BSB standings with four podiums for the FS-3 Kawasaki team, will join the American Racing squad as a wild-card alongside Cameron Beaubier and Sean Dylan Kelly.

Skinner was a race winner in Red Bull Rookies before clinching the British Talent Cup in 2018 and being crowned British Supersport champion in 2020.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started on a Moto2 bike. To be wildcarding at the British Grand Prix and do my first Moto2 round at home, it’ll be really cool to race in front of my home crowd,” said Skinner, who will be the third British rider on the Moto2 grid alongside Sam Lowes and Jake Dixon.

“I want to thank Darren and Nigel at FS-3, and John and Eitan for all making it happen. It’s an awesome opportunity for me and something that I’ve wanted to do since forever. Riding in Grand Prix has been my goal and always been my aim since I started riding as a kid so to finally get to do two wildcards - it’s awesome!”

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The 20-year-old is managed by American Racing team Owner, Eitan Butbul, and Racing Director, John Hopkins, who are confident that the wild-cards can help Skinner secure a permanent ride for next season.

“John messaged me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to do it and I bit his hand off at the opportunity!” Skinner added. “He and Eitan have always known that my intentions would be to go to Grands Prix and be in the paddock there, it's where I spent a lot of my time in Red Bull Rookies.

“Also, racing in CEV, I’ve ridden with a lot of the guys who are riding there at the minute so I’m looking forward to battling again with familiar faces. I’m under no illusion that it’ll be a massive learning curve but I’m looking forward to the challenge!”

Eitan Butbul said: “We started out managing Rory since the end of 2020 and last year there weren’t any spots available at world level here, while there was a great opportunity to continue in BSB with FS-3. They’ve given him a superb package allowing him to showcase just what a talent he is, so we’re sure he can do the same at Grand Prix level with the right opportunity over a season.

“Everyone’s heard us talk about the difficulties American riders are faced with in trying to make it to the MotoGP World Championship paddock, and in respect to jumping across to Moto2 directly, British riders face a similar problem at the moment.

“Plus, to have any hope of Americans and British riders in MotoGP, they’ll most likely need to come through Moto2 first. But usually the teams in Moto2 look for someone already inside the paddock, so that’s why we wanted to use our own team and resources to give him a shot at showing the World Championship paddock what he’s capable of with two wildcard appearances this year.

“He’s of the right age now, has enough experience and success behind him to make the jump. So we’re very excited to see what he’s able to do and we, as a team, relish the challenge of helping riders move forward in their careers in one of the toughest classes on the planet.

“We want to give a huge thanks to the FS-3 team for allowing him to take this opportunity.”

Nigel Snook, FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team principal, said: “We got to know Rory during his time in the British Talent Cup and a dominant year in the British Supersport Championship, so we always knew that his goal was to get back to the MotoGP paddock and we’ve been working closely with John Hopkins and American Racing to help make that happen.

“Rory has impressed many people with the way he’s got to grips with the ZX-10RR. He has become a regular on the podium and is currently lying fourth in the BSB championship standings, up against some very experienced riders.

“The fact that Rory is now on the verge of his first Grand Prix start demonstrates the strength of our Championship and our team. We are wishing Rory well and expect him to surprise a few people!”

The British Grand Prix takes place after the summer break on August 5-7, followed by the Red Bull Ring on August 19-21.

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