No Brits in 2009 250GP class
In what is expected to be the last season in which the two-strokes 250s will race exclusively on their own at Grand Prix level, no British rider will compete in the quarter-litre class in 2009.
MCN exclusively revealed last week that the 2010 250GP championship is likely to be split, with 50 per cent of the grid occupied by the new more affordable 600cc four-strokes.
The 250 two-stroke class will be replaced by the 600cc series in 2011.
Looking at next year, Irish privateer Eugene Laverty’s departure to the World Supersport class has left no homegrown talent in the 250GP series.
Hiroshi Aoyama, who was the victim of KTMs shock withdrawal at the end of 2008, has been given a lifeline by the Scot Honda squad. Reigning world champion Marco Simoncelli is following the trend of close friend Valentino Rossi by shunning the chance to run the number one plate on his Metis Gilera machine. He will retain his number 58 instead.
And reigning world 125 champion Mike di Meglio will run number 63 in his rookie 250 campaign as he partners Alvaro Bautista in the hugely successful Aspar Aprilia squad.
Provisional 2009 250GP entry list:
4 Hiroshi Aoyama, Scot Honda Racing
7 Axel Pons Pepe World Pons WRB
8 Bastien Chesaux Racing Team Germany
9 Toni Wirsing Racing Team Germany
10 Imre Toth Team Toth Aprilia
12 Thomas Luthi Emmi – Caffe Latte
14 Ratthapark Wilairot Thai Honda PTT SAG
15 Roberto Locatelli Metis Gilera
16 Jules Cluzel Matteoni Racing
17 Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing
19 Alvaro Bautista Mapfre Aspar Team
21 Hector Barbera Pepe World Pons WRB
25 Alex Baldolini WTR San Marino Team
28 Gabor Talmacsi Balaton Racing Team
35 Raffaele de Rosa Scot Racing Team
41 Aleix Espargaro Campetella Racing
48 Shoya Tomizawa Team CIP
51 Stevie Bonsey Aprilia Madrid
52 Lukas Pesek Auto Kelly – CP
58 Marco Simoncelli Metis Gilera
63 Mike di Meglio Mapfre Aspar Team
75 Mattia Pasini Team Toth Aprilia