Another one bites the dust as Aleix Espargaró will leave MotoGP after this weekend, and begin his next season’s preparations with Sito Pons’s Tenerife 40 Pons Racing Moto2 Team. The move leaves another seat open at Pramac Ducati, which will surely be filled by Randy de Puniet next year, as Hiroshi Aoyama is more than likely to take the empty Gresini Honda spot. De Puniet will join Loris Capirossi, who has made the switch from the Rizla Suzuki team, which will be in-turn fielding only one bike in 2011.
Riding the Pons Kalex machine next year, Aleix Espargaró will be another name to watch in the 600cc Moto2 class. There’s been no question of the young Spaniard’s riding talent, but it has been clear this year that he has not been up to the task of riding competitively in MotoGP. After being unable to land a contract anywhere in 2009, Espargaró landed his job in Pramac Ducati by filling in for Mika Kallio, who was replacing the missing Casey Stoner in the factory Ducati team. Outpacing Canepa on his own bike, Espargaró was signed onto the team for the 2010 season, where he joined Mika Kallio…both of whom have been given the boot this year.
“If I had to go to Moto2 I’d have to have the best guarantees and I know that Sito Pons can give me them,” said the 21-year-old Espargaró. “I’m delighted and very excited at the new challenge and at the prospect of being able to work with Sito, Santi Mulero and the whole team. I know what they are capable of and I know what I’m capable of too, and together we have the potential to fight at the highest level from the very beginning. I take this on with great respect too because I know I’ll be riding amongst great riders and teams, which gives me even more of an incentive to face this new challenge.”
“We have been looking for a rider who can give us the best chances of success in 2011,” explained Pons. “We’ve always admired Aleix. The moment he decided not to continue in the MotoGP category we were clear that he was the rider we wanted to lead our project.”