Ayumu Sasaki has been announced as the first signing for Tech3's new Moto3 project.

The 18-year-old Japanese has been with the Sepang team since his full-time grand prix debut at the start of 2017, taking a first pole position at the Sachsenring this season and his best race finish of fifth in Argentina this year.

“I’m really happy to join the Red Bull KTM family, especially with Hervé Poncharal. It was always a dream to be in a team like this, so of course, I’m incredibly excited about 2020," Sasaki said.

"We still have seven races to go this year, so I’m focused to learn as much as I can in order to be well prepared for the challenge with this amazing outfit next season. I’m already looking forward to it and I can’t wait to start!

"I can’t thank everybody enough, all the people involved, mainly Hervé Poncharal and of course all the KTM and Red Bull guys.”

“This is a great honour to welcome Ayumu Sasaki in my brand-new Moto3 team," Poncharal said. "After more than 30 years of involvement in the GP paddock, for Tech3 this is be the first time we will race Moto3, so this is clearly a very exciting project, which also counts on manufacturer side, it is very important to have the right rider line-up.

"As soon as Mr. Pierer, Mr. Trunkenpolz and Mr. Beirer told me in Spielberg that there plan was for us to move to Moto3, we have been thinking of who could be the rider and believe me or not, but the number one name and the only name that came to my mind at that time, was Ayumu Sasaki.

"I have been following him since the Red Bull Rookies Cup time, I like his riding style, his racing approach and I also like the way he behaves. He is a young man with a lot of charisma and I’m quite sure we’re going to have a very exciting 2020 season together.

"I’m quite sure he will like the KTM very much and he’s going to be fast, plus I’m convinced this is going to be the beginning of a great adventure together and more important than anything for me of a great friendship in between Ayumu Sasaki, me and the whole team.

"I can’t finish this without mentioning riders like Nobuyuki Wakai, like Shinya Nakano, like Kazuto Sakata, plenty of names of Japanese riders working with us and these are great memories.

"I hope we can help Ayumu Sasaki to grow in this MotoGP paddock, because he’s got a great future, I’m quite sure.”

Sasaki's Sepang team replacement, alongside John McPhee, is yet to be announced.

 

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