New signings in 250GPs

Published: 18 November 2003

The second and third-placed riders in the 2003 250cc championship will join forces next year for the Fortuna Honda squad.

Roberto Rolfo will remain with the team after narrowly missing out on the title and the Italian will be joined by third-placed Spaniard Toni Elias, who competed in 2003 on an Aprilia. The machines for both riders are being worked on by Honda Racing in Japan in preparation for winter testing.

The Campetella Aprilia team look likely to continue with Franco Battaini alongside new signing Joan Olive, who rode an Aprilia for the Aspar Junior team in 2003. Battaini finished as top privateer in sixth place in the final standings and has said he has a verbal agreement with the team to re-sign for 2004. Meanwhile Olive is set to finalise his deal later this week.

Yamaha has signed the consistent Naoki Matsudo to ride for the Yamaha Kurz team on an updated version of the TZ250. Matsudo will begin his fifth season in the class after finishing ninth in 2003.

" This year there was no factory support but they are already working on a new engine for next year. The new bike will also have a radical new look, " said Matsudo.

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