Kenny Noyes Back In Moto2 For 2011

The announcement that the Jack&Jones team was pulling out of the Moto2 World Championship came as a something of a shock, for several reasons. Firstly, European fashion retailer Jack&Jones had been involved in motorcycle racing for several years; secondly, the withdrawal left both Kenny Noyes - Moto2's only American competitor, and a popular figure in Spain, where he is based - and Gabor Talmacsi - still a huge star in Hungary - out of a ride for 2011; but perhaps most surprising of all was the loss of face for Antonio Banderas, the Spanish / Hollywood actor who had backed the team.

The reason given was unsurprising; title sponsor Jack&Jones had pulled out of the project, leaving no money to run the team. Since the announcement, further stories have emerged that the team's finances were not in order throughout 2010: the team's press officer has issued a number of statements in which she claims that team manager Dani Devahive has failed to pay her, and the lack of development the riders complained of has been put down to an apparent financial dispute between Promoracing (the organization behind the team) and Harris, the UK-based chassis builders who supplied the frames for the team's Moto2 effort.

That dispute was part of the reason the team scored such disappointing results. After a strong start to the season - Kenny Noyes running at the front of the race at Jerez, until his tires went off, and scoring a pole position at Le Mans - the results of both Noyes and his erstwhile teammate Joan Olive sagged, with the Spanish races the only events where Noyes could get inside the top 20, ending the year in 24th spot in the championship, while Olive failed to score a point all year. Poor results led to the sponsor withdrawing, and that left the Moto2 championship without a single American rider.

That is not to be, however. Kenny Noyes' ride in Moto2 has been saved by the BQR team - who fielded Yonny Hernandez and Mashel Al Naimi on their own custom-built chassis in 2010. BQR are already fielding a two-man team of Hernandez and Tito Rabat for 2011, after making the switch to the competitive FTR bikes for the upcoming season. But BQR put together a project with the Canadian-based Fogi Racing, and GPTech, the US racing specialists who fielded Jason Disalvo on board an FTR at the Indianapolis MotoGP round last year. With support from Avintia, a Spanish construction company, Noyes will race under the flag of Avintia-STX aboard an FTR M211, under the auspices of the BQR team.

Noyes had spent the past six weeks hard at work with several teams, trying to obtain a ride for 2011, while at the same time recovering from shoulder surgery, similar to that undergone by Valentino Rossi at the end of the 2010 season. Noyes had several offers, but his experience with the Jack&Jones team meant that he was determined to secure a ride on board a competitive bike. Buckingham-based FTR had produced a chassis which had proven to be extremely competitive over the course of 2010, winning several races in the hands of Andrea Iannone, though the bike had been rebadged as a Speed Up under FTR's deal with the Italian team. Now familiar with the tracks after his rookie season, and aboard a proven chassis, Noyes will have a second chance to make an impression in Moto2.

Below is the press release issued by Kenny Noyes PR team:


Kenny Noyes Signs with BQR in World Moto2

American Kenny Noyes, left without a ride when the Spanish Promoracing team suddenly withdrew, will return to the Moto2 World Championship riding with the Barcelona-based BQR team. Noyes will join Colombian Yonny Hernández and Spaniard Esteve Rabat on the three-rider BQR team which has just announced a switch to FTR prototypes. While his teammates will ride in Blusens-STX colors, Noyes' bike will be in Avintia-STX colors and with additional support from Fogi Racing of Canada and GPtech of the United States. For Noyes, once again the only US rider in Moto2, this is a homecoming because he began his roadracing career in Spain with BQR back in 2001.

Several teams contacted the American after the surprise collapse of the Promoracing team, but the best offer came from his old friends at BQR.

"As soon as we learned that his team had withdrawn, we contacted him and began working to find the budget to run a third bike," said BQR team owner Raúl Romero. " We are very glad to have Kenny back and believe he will make a big step forward this year on our FTR.

Noyes' British FTR M211 will be provided by Canadian-based Fogi Racing owner, Angus Borland. American Geoff Maloney (GPtech) worked with Boland in 2010 and directed the successful wild card entry at the Indianapolis Grand Prix with American Jason Disalvo. Maloney met Kenny during private testing at Indianapolis prior to the GP. When he learned that Kenny's team had withdrawn, he managed to bring Kenny and BQR together with Fogi Racing. 

Fogi Racing is a Canadian racing team active and successful in both Canada and the United States by supporting young up-and-coming talent like 17-year old Ben Young for the last two seasons and this year in AMA Supersport.  They also backed wild card entries for Scot Kev Coghlan in Europe in addition to the Indianapolis entry.

Borland said, "As Fogi/FTR join the Moto2 World Championships with US rider Kenny Noyes, BQR and GPtech, we look forward to a successful season together and to creating a buzz within our industry in North America and beyond in the hope we will receive further support and sponsorship to continue our success."

Maloney added, "From our experience at Indy we learned a lot about the FTR and we believe Kenny, who had some good results in his first GP season, will run in the lead group in 2011. This year he knows all the tracks and, I believe, will be on a more competitive bike."

Last season Noyes was one of ten "true rookies" (riders who had never taken part in a Grand prix in any class) among the permanent riders in the 40-bike Moto2 field and his two seventh places were the two best individual results achieved by a first time GP rider in the new Moto2 class. As a season highlight, he took the pole at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, one of 14 new tracks that he had to learn over the 17-race season.

"I am really glad to be back with Raúl Romero and BQR team," said Kenny. "I want to especially thank Angus Borland for stepping up to help make this work with BQR. Thanks also Geoff Maloney for putting us together with Fogi Racing, to my helmet sponsor, HJC, and my leathers sponsor, Arlen Ness, for sticking with me through all this. It has been a rough time for us. I had shoulder surgery at the beginning of December and was still in the hospital when I got the call telling me that the team had pulled out because of sponsor problems. We started working that same day to find a competitive team. I've been in the gym for the last three weeks and will start riding dirt bikes next week. I ride the FTR for the first time on February 7 at the Circuit of Catalunya. I'll be a little sore at first, maybe at about 80% for the first preseason tests but I'll be 100% ready when the season starts at Qatar in March. I'm stoked!"


Back to top


Bring the Noyes! Though I'm surprised to see he will be the only American entry. I thought this field would bring more interst in stateside entrants. Good to see Yonny Hernández will be back as well. He was fun to watch.

European sponsors have zero interest in American riders. Even if they show huge talent, they have to force their way in (like, by winning the WSBK championship).

The only reason there are Americans in MotoGP is because they are good and because they move bikes for the manufacturers.

--------------------------------------------- - MotoGP Data & Statistics

Kenny deserves a good break and i know he'll always make his team proud with strong efforts and results.

Pretty ridiculous not many Americans are in the series.. and imo Noyes is more Spanish then American, for an expat. Same with his dad.

Great to see him in the mix and good luck to him... AND good on BQR for stepping up!

Glad to see him get a ride, he's an extremely talented rider (I know you can say that about every rider at this level), but I always thought he looked like he gave it a little extra. Too bad his name recognition in the states is pretty low, though some dirt-trackers may remember him. On a side note, I met his mom (Heidi?) flying from Albuquerque to Indy for the GP. She sat in the seat in front of me and we talked moto stuff for much of the flight. She's very smart and cool lady who was very proud and supportive of her son. I wish him well this season!

At 31 years of age, Kenny is yet another rider in Moto2 who stands zero chance of ever making it up to the MotoGP class.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Kenny and the rest, but I don't get the feeling most of these Moto2 guys could ever make the step up to the big class.

I’m sure he(along with a lot of them)understands that. It’s still a great series to be involved in. Different bikes, world stage, lots of perks. I'm sure moto 2 is a happy home for some riders. Some riders preferred to live in 250's and were very happy. Moto2 changed that a little imo, but it’s still showcases the cream of the crop of the 600 world. At least it should.

The smaller displacement classes were places where a rider could be a specialist. When Rossi made his rapid ascent from 125, 250 and 500s he set a precedent where the lower classes were merely for development. The age restriction of the 125 class in the mid 2000s signaled the codification of this viewpoint. Hopefully this short sighted stratification will be changed in the future. If these categories are the pinnacle of racing, I don't see how the best riders should be limited by their age.

Exactly. They also know that some of the best GP races last year, from a spectator point of view, were in the Moto2 class. People are watching. I have no data on this, but I'd bet that more people were watching Moto2 than were watching the 250's a year prior. I just hope that this year doesn't produce the turn 1 carnage that was far too common last year...

You're right about none of the current riders seeming like MotoGP material but that may be a result of all the decent 250 riders getting out of dodge while the getting was good. There were a couple of rookies in the premier class this year that in a normal year would have been happy to stay and get another chance to win the 250 title. With the looming equipment uncertainty of the inaugural Moto2 year they figured (correctly, IMO) a mid pack ride in the top class is better than a crap shoot in the new Moto2 class.


No Moto2 rider worthy of a MotoGP future?
I was delighted to see Simon, Iannone and Redding racing last year and I believe they have a bright future, would not be surprised at all to see them in MotoGP soon.
I would love to see Sofuoglu in MotoGP but first he has to discover the tracks and prove himself in Moto2.
As for Moto2 newcomers for 2011, obviously it won't be long before another tiny spaniard comes to the world of MotoGP.

Top ten or even top 5 in 250 never guarenteed you a seat in MotoGP, the top 3 might end up in MotoGP if they got consistently in the top spot for a couple of years and/or if they were lucky.
The vast majority never had a shot at MotoGP, I don't foresee a big difference with Moto2.