In the wake of Danny Kent's surprise departure from the Kiefer Racing team during the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, the German squad has announced 21-year old Federico Fuligni as his stand-in rider for Jerez.

The Englishman that won the Moto3 world championship for the team in 2015 stated "irreconcilable differences" were behind his decision to leave the squad, which switched to chassis supplier Suter over the winter, before last Sunday's Moto2 race.

It appears Kent's decision came as a surprise to team owner Stefan Kiefer, who had agreed to the Englishman's demands of a change of crew chief for the 2016 season.

For the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Kiefer has placed its trust in Fuligni, a member of the esteemed Italian VR46 Academy, and a rider that has already featured in seven Moto2 races, the last of which came at Valencia last November.

Fuligni is currently racing in the European Moto2 series, and has experience with the Suter chassis, after his involvement in the Swiss manufacturer's development programme in 2015.

It appears Fuligni may only appear in the team's colours for one race, as Kiefer's announcement stated, "The decision which rider will race for Kiefer Racing for the remaining 2017 season has not been decided yet, but will be announced soon."

"This, of course, is a great opportunity for me, which Kiefer Racing offers me at the Grand Prix in Jerez next week," began Fuligni.

"I'm very pleased and thankful for that. Racing in World Championship alongside the fastest riders is always very special. In addition, this commitment also means my comeback aboard a Suter bike.

"Two years ago, in European Championship I was racing with this bike. But for next week, everything will be new for me, with a new team and an unknown crew which means different conditions so far.

"Nevertheless, I will try and do my best to get familiarized as quickly as possible to this new environment as well as I will do my best at any time. I would like to use this awesome opportunity for further assignments. I'm really looking forward to this challenge."

Fuligni's best finish in grand prix racing to date was an 18th place he secured at Misano in 2016. Kiefer's other rider, Dominique Aegerter placed a commendable fifth at the Grand Prix of the Americas.

Meanwhile, Kent's plans for the remainder of the 2017 season are not yet known.



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