Casey Stoner’s retirement from MotoGP hasn’t left the premier class without an Australian rider on the grid after Bryan Staring was confirmed as the surprise pick for the Gresini CRT ride.
Staring took three wins in the FIM 1000cc Superstock series last season and he will ride the FTR-Honda CRT bike for the Italian-based Gresini squad.
Gresini was forced into the rider market when Italian Michele Pirro accepted a role as Ducati test rider for 2013.
At one stage it looked like Gresini might hire former BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, with rumours at the end of the season that the Japanese rider could be used to help develop a new production RC213V 1000cc machine that Honda plans to sell in 2014.
But Staring has got the ride and he said: "Racing in the MotoGP class has always seemed a very remote, practically unattainable. Now that I have a real chance to race in this championship with Go & Fun Honda Gresini, it’s is almost unbelievable...a dream come true.
It’s the greatest opportunity of my career and I will be giving it my best. I know I still have a lot to learn and I will put in all the effort it requires. I have to thank Fausto Gresini and the team sponsors who have given me this opportunity. I cannot imagine the excitement when I first get on the bike.”
Gresini will again field one Honda prototype for Spaniard Alvaro Bautista and his CRT project, which features a British designed chassis from FTR and Ten Kate-tuned CBR1000RR motor.
Pirro scored four top 10 finishes on the bike last season, which included a best CRT result of fifth in the final race in Valencia earlier this month.