Valentino Rossi’s Team Sky VR46 team have confirmed paddock speculation that Silverstone wildcard sensation Stefano Manzi as joining double Moto3 race winner Francesco Bagnaia at the squad on Kalex machinery for their step to Moto2 next season.
Manzi, who has spent the majority of the 2016 season in the CEV Moto3 championship on a factory Mahindra, stunned the paddock with an incredible attempt t taking victory at Silverstone during a wildcard appearance.
And with the Italian reportedly impressing team boss Rossi – and already too big for the tiny Moto3 machines – he’s delighted to graduate directly to the intermediate class for 2017.
"I am very happy to start this adventure in Moto2 with the Sky Racing Team VR46. Thanks to Mahindra I was able to show my potential. Just a month ago, I have joined the VR46 Riders Academy and now I have the opportunity to continue my growth path in one of the top teams of the Championship. I'm really pleased to race in a new category, which probably is better suited on my style. I expect a lot of work to do, but I can not wait to get on track with my new bike.”
And team boss Paolo Nieto says that their new recruit – and the decision to use Kalex machinery next season – both represent big opportunities for them.
"I am delighted to confirm that Stefano Manzi will be with us in 2017 and, at the same time, to announce our partnership with Kalex in Moto2. In several occasions this year, Stefano showed all his talent and today we are proud to say that we will support his growth path with all our efforts. He is a young rider, very promising and with a great talent. It will be a completely new category for him, but that best adapts to his physical characteristics. Kalex - that over the years, created a very competitive bike - will be together with us with its professionalism and commitment.”