Tech 3 has signed Aspar riders Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio for the 2011 Moto2 World Championship.

Smith moves to Moto2 after five seasons in the 125cc class, during which time he has won two races, taken 19 podiums and finished a best of second in the championship (2009).

The 19-year-old will be the second British rider at Tech 3 next year, following the signing of Cal Crutchlow for the French-based team's MotoGP effort.

Smith will begin his preparations for the 2011 season immediately after the final round in Valencia next weekend, making his Moto2 debut on Monday, November 8.

"I'm really excited and so pleased everything has been sorted out for next season," said Smith. "It's the next step in my career and it could not be with a better and more experienced team. I get the chance to ride the Tech 3 Moto2 bike after the Valencia Grand Prix on Monday and I can't wait.

"Of course I'm nervous about the next step but the Tech 3 Team have such experience and success at World Championship level I know they will really help in the transition from 125 to Moto2. It's a big step but I'm ready and I'm glad it's all sorted. It's been stressful but I always thought it would happen with Herv? Poncharal and Tech 3. I'm too big for a 125 and so the time was right for the move and I will be starting from step one once again.

"First I will focus on the testing in Valencia, which I'm really excited about, and then starting a new season in a new class. It will be a massive challenge and I look forwa rd to carrying on where I've left off. Moto2 is going to be a new experience and I certainly will have to learn to push to my limit in qualifying because it's absolutely vital to be near the front. I'll have to get used to a bit of rough and tumble but scrapping is something I've learnt to do in the 125 class."

Joining Smith in an all-new line-up will be former 125cc world champion Mike di Meglio, who has been racing for Aspar's (Suter) Moto2 team this season.

The 22-year-old Frenchman is currently 20th in the rankings, with a best of sixth in the recent Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

"It is a great honour for me to ride for a French team with such a long and successful history as Tech 3," said di Meglio. "I was aware of Tech 3 and how important it has been for motorcycle racing in France while I was growing up and now finally getting the chance to ride for Herv? Poncharal, I can't wait to get started.

"To be a French rider in a French team on a bike that was born in France is a special feeling. I feel like I have learned a lot in my first season in Moto2 and while I'd obviously liked better results, I am confident I can repay the faith that Tech 3 has shown in me.

"The Moto2 class is unbelievably competitive and only a few tenths per lap can be the difference between a good and a bad day. I have every confidence in my ability and in the Tech 3 Team to be running in the leading group in 2011. This team deserves to be challenging for wins and I'm convinced that Bradley and I can do that. It will be hard work but we are all ready for the challenge ahead."

Team manager Herve Poncharal is delighted with his new line-up.

"I am thrilled that Bradley and Mike have decided to join the Tech 3 Racing Team for 2011," said Poncharal.

"Bradley is a rider I have admired for a long time and I am really excited at the prospect of working with him. He has a lot of natural talent but he works incredibly hard to improve himself and I like the way he approaches racing. I am sure together we can achieve great things and I have no doubt that Bradley can be one of the top riders in the Moto2 class.

"I'm also very happy to welcome Mike to Tech 3. It is fitting that a French team that has designed and built its own bike should have a French rider on board. Mike has phenomenal talent, which he showed when he won the 125cc world title in 2008. I'm sure we can bring out the best in him again next season.

"This year was a historic one for Tech 3 Racing when Yuki Takahashi won the Catalunya race. To see a bike that you've developed with a lot of hard work and dedication is an unforgettable emotion, and I'm sure Bradley and Mike can deliver more memorable moments for us."

Poncharal also paid tribute to existing riders Yuki Takahashi and Raffaele de Rosa, both of whom are yet to confirm their 2011 plans. As well as victory at Catalunya, Takahashi handed Tech 3 another podium at Brno.

"Finally I'd like to thank Yuki and Raffaele de Rosa for all their efforts in 2010 and wish them all the best for the future," said Poncharal.

"They will always be remembered as the two riders that started a new chapter in the history of the Tech 3 Racing Team, and their commitment to the project has been incredible.

"Their input has been vital for development of the 2011 project and I'm sure Bradley and Mike will benefit a lot from that."

Tech 3 is the only MotoGP team to race in Moto2 with its own chassis.



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