The Tech 3 Moto2 team have announced that they have secured the signatures of Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio for 2011.
Smith and di Meglio give Tech 3 a nice blend of youth and experience – Smith is becoming way too big to be a title threat for next season in 125cc, despite his solid performance this year, so it will be exciting to watch what he can do with a move into Moto2 for 2011.
Full press release and details below:
Official Press Release & Rider Interviews:
The Tech 3 Team is delighted to announce that Bradley Smith and Mike di Meglio will lead the French squad’s second campaign in the ultra-competitive Moto2 world championship in 2011.
British rider Smith joins Tech 3 Racing having established himself as one of the brightest young talents in Grand Prix racing since he first burst onto the scene in 2006. He finished runner-up in the last year’s 125cc world championship with two stunning victories in Jerez and Mugello. And he’s guaranteed to finish fourth in 2010 after another impressive season that has seen him notch four podiums and three pole positions. The 19-year-old joins Hervé Poncharal’s squad highly motivated and ready for the exciting challenge ahead having become the second British rider welcomed into the Tech 3 Racing fold following the signing of Cal Crutchlow for its MotoGP effort. Smith will begin his preparations for the 2011 season immediately after the final round in Valencia next weekend, making his debut on Monday, November 8.
Tech 3 Racing is also thrilled with the signing of former 125cc world champion di Meglio, with the Frenchman excited at the prospect of developing and racing a machine designed and built entirely in France. The 22-year-old is already used to the cut and thrust of Moto2 competition having raced for the Aspar squad in the inaugural campaign. He is currently 20th in the rankings after today’s penultimate round in Portugal having scored a best of sixth in the recent Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Mike di Meglio
“It is a great honour for me to ride for a French team with such a long and successful history as Tech 3. I was aware of Tech 3 and how important it has been for motorcycle racing in France while I was growing up and now finally getting the chance to ride for Hervé Poncharal, I can’t wait to get started. To be a French rider in a French team on a bike that was born in France is a special feeling. I feel like I have learned a lot in my first season in Moto2 and while I’d obviously liked better results, I am confident I can repay the faith that Tech 3 has shown in me. The Moto2 class is unbelievably competitive and only a few tenths per lap can be the difference between a good and a bad day. I have every confidence in my ability and in the Tech 3 Team to be running in the leading group in 2011. This team deserves to be challenging for wins and I’m convinced that Bradley and I can do that. It will be hard work but we are all ready for the challenge ahead.”
“I’m really excited and so pleased everything has been sorted out for next season. It’s the next step in my career and it could not be with a better and more experienced team. I get the chance to ride the Tech 3 Moto2 bike after the Valencia Grand Prix on Monday and I can’t wait. Of course I’m nervous about the next step but the Tech 3 Team have such experience and success at World Championship level I know they will really help in the transition from 125 to Moto2. It’s a big step but I’m ready and I’m glad it’s all sorted. It’s been stressful but I always thought it would happen with Hervé Poncharal and Tech 3. I’m too big for a 125 and so the time was right for the move and I will be starting from step one once again. First I will focus on the testing in Valencia, which I’m really excited about, and then starting a new season in a new class. It will be a massive challenge and I look forwa rd to carrying on where I’ve left off. Moto2 is going to be a new experience and I certainly will have to learn to push to my limit in qualifying because it’s absolutely vital to be near the front. I’ll have to get used to a bit of rough and tumble but scrapping is something I’ve learnt to do in the 125 class.”
Hervé Poncharal – Team Manager
“I am thrilled that Bradley and Mike have decided to join the Tech 3 Racing Team for 2011. Bradley is a rider I have admired for a long time and I am really excited at the prospect of working with him. He has a lot of natural talent but he works incredibly hard to improve himself and I like the way he approaches racing. I am sure together we can achieve great things and I have no doubt that Bradley can be one of the top riders in the Moto2 class. I’m also very happy to welcome Mike to Tech 3. It is fitting that a French team that has designed and built its own bike should have a French rider on board. Mike has phenomenal talent, which he showed when he won the 125cc world title in 2008. I’m sure we can bring out the best in him again next season. This year was a historic one for Tech 3 Racing when Yuki Takahashi won the Catalunya race. To see a bike that you’ve developed with a lot of hard work and dedication is an unforgettable emotion, and I’m sure Bradley and Mike can deliver more memorable moments for us. Finally I’d like to thank Yuki and Raffaele de Rosa for all their efforts in 2010 and wish them all the best for the future. They will always be remembered as the two riders that started a new chapter in the history of the Tech 3 Racing Team, and their commitment to the project has been incredible. Their input has been vital for development of the 2011 project and I’m sure Bradley and Mike will benefit a lot from that.”
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