One of the longest-running rider signing sagas has finally reached the conclusion that everyone expected. On the eve of the final Moto2 test of the preseason at Jerez, Gresini has at last confirmed that they will be fielding Gino Rea in the 2012 Moto2 championship. Rea had been testing the Moriwaki with the Gresini team for months now, yet an official announcement of the contract was not forthcoming. On Sunday, the team finally issued a press release naming both Ratthapark Wilairot and Gino Rea as the teams riders in Moto2.
Rea and Wilairot will be competing under different colors. Wilairot will be riding with backing from AP Honda, distributor of the manufacturer in his native Thailand. Rea will be racing in the colors of Indonesian oil company Federal Oil - another Indonesian brand being added to MotoGP, showing the shift in sponsorship eastwards - and will be supported by the Ukrainian Crimea Grand Prix circuit.
Below is the press release from the Gresini Moto2 team, containing the official announcement.
TWO LIVERIES, ONE GOAL FOR TEAM GRESINI MOTO2
The dawn of the Moto2 era in 2010 presented a unique opportunity for Team Gresini, who rose to the challenge and used their experience to take the title at the first attempt. The Moto2 category continues to grow on a technical and sporting level and Team Gresini Moto2, with the crucial support of Moriwaki, tackle the 2012 campaign with an ambitious project. Team Gresini take to the track with two bikes in completely different livery but with the exact same technical expertise.
One bike will carry the colours of AP Honda, distributors of Honda in Thailand, along with other national companies from Thailand such as fuel suppliers PTT, in support of Ratthapark Wilairot. The Thai rider made his debut in the 250cc class and has established a reputation as a fast and determined Moto2 rider, picking up a podium at Assen in 2010.
On the other bike Indonesian company Federal Oil will be the main sponsor supporting Gino Rea, who makes his debut in the Moto2 World Championship thanks also to the extended collaboration between Team Gresini and Ukraine's Crimea Grand Prix Circuit. Rea established a reputation as a fast and flamboyant rider in the World Supersport category last year riding a Honda CBR600RR.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Moto2 is an important category in motorcycle racing and the only real launchpad, in a technical and sporting sense, to MotoGP. The fans love it, it creates a lot of interest and I am sure it has a big future. This season we take to the track with two different liveries for our two riders Gino Rea and Rattapark Wilairot, who both have great potential. They will both be riding MD600 machines built by Moriwaki, who have been an important partner of ours since we joined this championship. We have proven to be a professional team over the years and our commitment to Moto2 is an important way for us to show our technical capabilities. It is not an easy category and it is very competitive but that just pushes us to do our best and compete at the front.”