Moto2 Musical Chairs - Replacements and Wildcards at Misano

As if the Moto2 grid wasn't confusing enough already, the Misano round for the 40-strong Moto2 class features a host of replacement riders and wildcards. Making things even worse, some of the replacements and wildcards are riders who have left one team and gone on to ride for another. Here's a rundown of the Misano Moto2 Musical Chairs:

First of all, the absentees: Aeroport de Castello's Alex Debon is out after fracturing his collarbone yet again, the 4th time in 10 months, after falling at Indianapolis. HolidayGym's Fonsi Nieto is also missing, having cracked his heelbone in the Indy Moto2 mayhem. Nieto has been extraordinarily unlucky: not only did he fracture bones in his foot, but the Spaniard had problems during surgery on his foot which saw him suffer a respiratory arrest as a result of the anesthetics being used. So serious was the situation that Nieto was even in danger of having his foot amputated because of the complications.

Toni Elias' Gresini teammate Vladimir Ivanov is also absent due to injury, as is JIR Moto2's Yusuke Teshima - himself a replacement for Mattia Pasini, who left after a dispute over finances - and Arne Tode of Team Germany, both of whom picked up (further) injuries at Indy.

Of the five missing riders, only three are to be replaced. Former Superstock 1000 champion Xavier Simeon is due to take the place of Nieto, the Belgian already having shown very strong form riding as a wildcard on the Holiday Gym Moriwaki. Taking Teshima's place at JIR Moto2 is Alex de Angelis, a very familiar name in Moto2. After losing his spot in the MotoGP class at the end of the 2009 season, De Angelis joined the Team Scot Moto2 effort, riding the Force GP210. However, a chronic lack of funds saw the team fold before the season was out. De Angelis' departure to the Interwetten Honda MotoGP team to sub for Hiroshi Aoyama gave the team a brief stay of execution, but once Aoyama returned, there was no team for De Angelis to return to. And sitting in for Ivanov is Japanese rider Tatsuya Yamaguchi.

Misano also sees two Moto2 wildcards: One is a name mentioned already, Mattia Pasini returning to race on a third Italtrans Suter alongside Roberto Rolfo and former AMA racer Robertino Pietri. The other is Italian racer Ferruccio Lamborghini, who will be joining Jules Cluzel and Claudio Corti at Forward Racing aboard another Suter.

Finally, there's a familiar face on a new team. The disappearance of Team Scot left not one but two former MotoGP riders adrift: Alex de Angelis has now found (temporary) shelter with the JIR team, and his former teammate, Niccolo Canepa is now riding a Bimota for the M Racing team.

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How refreshing. Dynamic Moto2 race previews are full of substance. Learning about riders you don't know. Finding out about the wild card teams. Listening to rumor mill tidbits. Reading the standard preview reports from press agents who brag on their teams. Moto2 is more than halfway through the season and the info keeps getting better.

I hope it continues. It means that fans can start participating in the GP on Wednesday or Thursday b/c they need to start doing research so they understand who/what they are about to see.

MotoGP is quite static these days.

It really is the opposite of MotoGP isn't it? If only for this kind of churn and opportunities for a standout wild card appearance do I hope for a bigger grid in the top league. As a spectator at Indy the Moto2 field spread out not so different from MotoGP. But there were just an extra battle or two for a lower position and more bikes streaming by. Hope for the underdog doesn't get much bigger than for a home favorite trying to pull of something special.