Teenage Aussie ace Casey Stoner has taken the offer of a factory 125cc Aprilia ride for 2003.
He said: " It’s pretty exciting news to get just before Christmas. I’m really looking forward to getting a more competitive bike
" Although I’ll have a smaller engine than the 250 I raced this year,it’s still a big step up as I will be in a factory team for the first time, with full support from Aprilia.
Stoner impressed everyone in 2002, his debut season in Grand Prix, with a string a good results on a kitted Aprilia 250. At just 16 he became the youngest ever rider to score world championship points in the class, and scored a season-best fifth in the Czech GP at Brno.
The 17-year-old will partner the Italian veteran Luccio Cechinello.