Hector Barbera will switch from MotoGP to Moto2 and return to the Pons team in 2018.

The Spaniard will be joined by another new Pons signing, Lorenzo Baldassarri, who is moving across from Forward Racing.

Barbera - a MotoGP competitor since 2010, claiming two front row starts and a best race finish of fourth - currently races for Avintia Ducati. However both he and team-mate Loris Baz are set to leave, with Tito Rabat already confirmed for next season and Xavier Simeon hotly tipped for the second seat.

"From the first year I arrived in the World Championship I have always been fighting to win races, achieving two runners-up, but after eight years in MotoGP the goals have not been achieved, as it is a championship in which more means are needed beyond the rider," Barbera said.

"When I saw the opportunity to return to Sito Pons team I did not think [about] it. Together we were second in the overall world standings, winning several races and I think I'm in the moment to risk and make such a decision. I am very excited and I have the motivation to start this new project. I also want to thank Avintia Racing who facilitated the termination of the contract.

"The goal is none other than to fight to win races and the championship. It will not be easy but I am at my best: I have the experience, I am physically and mentally prepared, and both Sito and his technical team, led by Santi, can give me what it takes to achieve it. Grateful to Sito and the sponsors for the trust placed in me and I want to return it with results."

Barbera won four races in the 250cc two-stroke class, which became Moto2 (600cc four-strokes) in 2010.

19-year-old Baldassarri said: "I am very happy to be part of the Pons HP 40 team for the next season and I want to thank Sito Pons and VR46 for their confidence in this new opportunity in my sports career. I don’t see the time to start working together, but before I have to focus in my current team, give the maximum and finish the year achieving the best possible results."

"I am very happy with the calibre of our team for the next season," said team boss Sito Pons. "Welcoming Héctor Barberá back in the team a great news. He’s a very fast rider who has fought at the highest levels, knows the team and I am sure we will be able to aim high in the championship.

"With regards to Baldassari, we’ve been following him closely and we are extremely happy to have him in the team. Despite his young age, he stands out for being very constant, talented and for avoiding mistakes - paramount in such a competitive category such as Moto2. I am sure that both riders will impress us from the beginning."

Today's announcement means both Fabio Quartararo and Edgar Pons, Sito's son, will need to find alternative rides. French youngster Quartararo is 16th in the standings and Pons 33rd on the team's Kalex machinery.