Marc VDS Racing has signed former MotoGP rider Mika Kallio, to ride alongside Scott Redding in the 2011 Moto2 World Championship.

The 27-year-old Finn joins the team after two seasons in the premier-class with Ducati, including three races with the factory team as a stand in for Casey Stoner.

After a difficult 2010, Kallio is looking forward to returning to the intermediate category, where he took five race wins over two seasons when the class was contested by 250cc two-strokes.

Kallio will make his debut for Marc VDS during the Moto2 test at Valencia on Monday; the same day as his 28th birthday.

"I had quite a few options in Moto2 for next year, but with Marc VDS I know I've found are one of the top teams on the grid and with them I know I can make good results next year," said Kallio, who quit MotoGP two races before the end of this season.

"I'm sure there are some people who think this is a step backwards for me career wise, but I disagree. I think it is a great opportunity for me and I know that with this team I can be back at the front once again.

"The fact that the Marc VDS Racing Team are committed to stepping up to the MotoGP class in the future is also a very positive thing for me, as I have still feel I have unfinished business there.

"Now I just need to get a feel for the Suter MMX, starting tomorrow morning with my first test aboard the bike."

Marc VDS took two podiums and eighth in the championship with Redding this season. Kallio replaces Hector Faubel, who was 26th in the championship.

"We are very happy to have signed a rider of Mika's undoubted calibre," said team manager Michael Bartholemy. "His track record in Grand Prix racing is an enviable one and he knows what it takes to fight for a World Championship, having done so in the 125cc class.

"Mika's experience will be invaluable to Scott Redding as he continues to develop as a rider and I'm confident that, together, they will form a formidable partnership in 2011."

"We spoke to a lot of riders about 2011, but Mika's determination made him the stand out choice for me," added team president Marc van der Straten.

Kallio's 2010 Pramac Ducati team-mate Aleix Espargaro is also moving to Moto2 next season, with Pons Kalex.



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