Moto2 & Moto3 Silly Season Updates: Herrin & Zarco to Caterham, Honda’s Moto3 Plans, Rins’ Moto2 Option

10/01/2013 @ 2:13 pm, by David Emmett9 COMMENTS

Moto2 & Moto3 Silly Season Updates: Herrin & Zarco to Caterham, Hondas Moto3 Plans, Rins Moto2 Option Honda NSF250R Moto3 race bike 635x423

More changes are afoot in the Moto2 and Moto3 field for next season. With the lack of any American talent coming through from the support classes – despite the outstanding results of Joe Roberts in both the Red Bull Rookies Cup and in AMA Supersport, and the clear talent of riders such as Cameron Beaubier and Jake Gagne – the news that Josh Herrin is to race in Moto2 in 2014 will be well received.

Herrin announced the news himself on Sunday night, after wrapping up the 2013 AMA Superbike championship, defeating three-time champion Josh Hayes to do so.

Herrin had been refused to answer questions on who he had signed with, but informed paddock gossip suggested that Herrin had signed with the new Caterham Moto2 squad. Caterham, which is linked to the F1 team of the same name, and races with backing from Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, will race a Suter chassis next season, and will see Frenchman Johann Zarco race alongside Herrin in Moto2.

Herrin’s switch to Moto2 had been in some doubt, as there were question marks in the paddock over both Herrin’s outright ability and the sponsorship he would bring to the team. The AMA Superbike title helped remove one of those question marks, and the fact that Herrin is signed must mean that the other has also been removed.

In Moto3, there is more and more confirmation that Honda will be building a high-powered engine to defeat KTM. There had been a fierce internal debate inside HRC over whether to spend the money necessary to beat KTM at their own game, as the cost of the actual engine will be vastly more than the 12,000 euro price cap in Moto3.

However, facing humiliation at the hands of KTM – who have found other ways to pass on the costs, hiding engine development costs in the price of a complete bike package – Honda has decided to act.

To defeat KTM, they will also need a winning team, and that team will be the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team of Alex Rins and Alex Marquez.

The team, run by Monlau, the organization behind Marc Marquez and Maria Herrera’s Spanish championship team, will make the switch to Honda for 2014, and take on the KTMs. With Rins and Marquez being two of the top favorites for the 2014 Moto3 title, along with Jack Miller, Honda should have everything in place to defeat the KTMs.

Whether Rins stays in Moto3 is still not 100% certain, however. Rins is believed to have a clause in his contract which says that if he wins the 2013 Moto3 title, he will enter Moto2 with the Monlau team. On the strength of Rins’ performance at Aragon, his chances of being Moto3 champion are improving.

The Monlau team will not be the only one on a Honda. Racing Team Germany is also to remain with the Japanese manufacturer, and with Jack Miller having signed for the Red Bull KTM team, RTG has signed Efren Vazquez to race for them in 2014. Who Vazquez’s teammate will be is as yet unknown, but the chances of it being a young rookie look promising.

Photo: HRC

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. jack says:

    Competition with KTM will be a good thing for the series. Too bad Fox Sports has decided to show Moto2 and Moto3 only on Fox Sports 2. This channel is not available in most of the country unless you have Direct TV. It is a real shame and they should lose their contract with Dorna.

  2. Ian says:

    Herrin better be ready to step up. His teammate is a beast, and he has trouble with the top guys. Hopefully, Herrin learns the tracks and gains confidence. It would be great for him to set a good example of the potential of young guys riding at the top of the AMA series. Then, if Cameron can go over there next year and make a big splash….America will have hope again.

    Spies back healthy, motivated, and riding a factory Suzuki in 2015 would hurt either!

  3. jeram says:

    Annnnnd suddenly Moto-3 costs are spiraling out of control.

    wait…

    Wasnt that one of the driving factors for killing off 125GP?

    it sounds to me like what we have now is heavier, slower bikes which cost just as much….

    Another DORNA cock up

  4. Rico B says:

    I agree… Herrin will have to step it up big time! I am no fan of Herrin…. never have been. He jumped to AMA Superbike without EVER winning the 600 championship. In my opinion, he ain’t got what it takes. My Man Danny Eslick kicked Herrin’s ass a bunch of times back on the 600’s. I believe Herrins father is connected or something & if you put any of the top 5-8 Superbike riders on the Yamaha R1, Herrin would wind up somewhere behind them. Don’t get me wrong.. he’s ok… but he ain’t as fast as either Hayden, either Bostrom, Eslick, Cardenas, etc… if all where riding the same bike….
    I predict he will get his ass kicked in Moto 2 & that’ll be it. The AMA Superbikes, although way down on power compared to WBS or Moto Gp seem to be just about too much for Herrin now & he gets real squirrely when he’s pressured & theres gonna be a lot of that in moto 2….

  5. @jeram: “Wasnt that one of the driving factors for killing off 125GP?

    it sounds to me like what we have now is heavier, slower bikes which cost just as much….

    Another DORNA cock up”

    Don’t forget the war in Iraq, global warming and Planet X destroying Earth. All are Dorna’s doing, bro. Don’t kid yourself.

    The biggest reason they moved from 125cc 2-smokers was because most of the markets don’t feature them anymore. If you want your race bikes to be relevant in the market place, they need to be 4-strokes. The engines certainly could have contributed to reduced costs, but KTM apparently didn’t play by the spirit of the rules. Hence, HRC whining about their position on the grid nearly every race. Abiding by the letter of the rules and ignoring their spirit is counterproductive to everybody in the long run.

    Dorna seems to be the favoured scapegoat in such situations. Alas, Dorna isn’t at fault here.

  6. Anyone else’s ears prick up (or whatever) at the phrase, ” and the sponsorship he would bring to the team”? Is the implication that a reigning AMA Superbike Champion needs to bring money to an unproven Moto2 team? Yes, it is.

    Herrin may have a bit of an asterisk on his championship; I’m not as critical as some of the earlier commenters. When Hayes’ luck ran out this season, Herrin was the guy who kept the other fastest bike upright when it counted, and he won. Whatever, he’s clearly not slow and arrives in Europe with a major U.S. title. Spies was the last AMA champion to go over, and while he’s underwhelmed the last couple of years, he did win the SBK title in year 1, and was MotoGP Rookie of the Year in Year 2…

    Now, Herrin’s buying a seat in Moto2.

    Hmm…

  7. mark says:

    Trane Francks says:

    “”If you want your race bikes to be relevant in the market place, they need to be 4-strokes. “”

    Maybe in Superbike but GP like F1 does not represent anything the public can buy in any market place

    Sadly it is true though that 2 strokes are gone

  8. “GP like F1 does not represent anything the public can buy in any market place”

    In a literal sense, you’re quite right. For Joe Average drinking an ale while watching a race, though, an M1 with its crossplane crank and associated exhaust note looks and sounds very much like a hopped up R1. A paddock full of bikes that sound like angry bees doesn’t represent anything that one finds in the showroom anymore, unfortunately.

    FWIW, my favourite ride of all time was my RD400 Daytona Special. Nothing quite like it.

  9. Seth says:

    Josh is in for a big suprise next season and I think he will be fighting just to break into the points, look at how Sandro Cortese has fared this season. Granted Josh will be coming off a superbike and not a Moto3 bike I think the challenge will be steep for him.

    Johann will also be doing him no favors as he should be a title favorite and on the box on a regular basis.

    Yamaha must have thrown the check book at Cameron to stay here in the AMA, this is doing him no good unless he wants to race in World Superbike in 2015. I hate to say it but with DMG the AMA is basically dead in the water now, I just hope that J.D. can land a ride in World Supersport.