The Leopard Racing Team today announced that they have signed Enea Bastianini for their Moto3 team for 2018. The press release announcing the deal appears below:
Leopard Racing signs Bastianini for 2018
The 19-year-old of Rimini becomes the first Leopard Racing Team rider announced for the 2018 season to assault the Moto3 class title.
The 2018 World Championship grid begins to emerge: the first pawns move and the Leopard Racing Team have acted quickly to sign the most explosive talents of the lightweight class. For the coming season, Leopard Racing's management has chosen the experienced Enea Bastianini to join the team, already World Champions in 2015 with Danny Kent and currently top of the standings with Joan Mir.
Born in Rimini on December 30th, 1997, his rise has been lightning-fast: he started to ride at just 3 years and 3 months (hence number 33 on his bike). Enea Bastianini made his debut in the Moto3 World Championship in 2014, taking three podiums and forging the title of 'Rookie of the Year' (won last year by Leopard Racing with Joan Mir, of who the Italian will carry on from).
2015 saw the Italian take his first win, coming at home at the Misano GP and another five podiums helped him finish third in the championship. Last year, continuing on a Honda, fought hard for the entire year closing the season as vice-champion. He currently occupies ninth position in the standings.
Miodrag KOTUR, COO Leopard Racing:
"We are delighted to welcome Enea Bastianini into our operation. In the last few years, we have faced many opponents and always noted their strengths. Enea is a rider with a great talent and we are confident that he will be able to adapt quickly to our method of working for the world title."
Enea BASTIANINI, rider:
"I'm delighted to have reached this deal for the 2018 season with the Leopard Racing Team, who have shown in a few years to be an inspirational team and remain at the top of the Moto3 category. I am also pleased to be able to continue my experience in the World Championship still riding an official Honda. Finally, I would like to thank my current team for the confidence they gave me, and I will do my utmost in the final part of the season to reach the pre-set goals."
Carlo PERNAT, Bastianini’s manager:
"I am very pleased that Enea has signed with a professional and winning team like Leopard Racing, who are now well established as a top team. It's a team where Enea will surely do well, because technically he knows how to work, the results are in him. I anticipate and hope in the future that they can achieve the common goal of taking the World Championship."