British manufacturer FTR Moto and the Italian Speed Up Team will challenge for the 2011 Moto2 World Championship with the youthful line-up of 19-year-old Spaniard Pol Espargaro and 18-year-old French prospect Valentin Debise.
With three race wins and a total of nine podiums in 2010, the Speed Up Team/FTR combination was only topped by the World Championship-winning Gresini Team to the “title” of most successful team in the inaugural Moto2 season.
Speed Up will field two M211s with Espargaro ready to head the team’s hopes in the 600cc four-stroke series. The rider from Granolllers, near the Montmelo circuit, moves into Moto2 having finished third in last year’s 125cc World Championship.
Espargaro also arrives in Moto2 after an exceptional display in 2010 where he finished on the podium in 12 of the 17 races and suffered just one non-finish. He has five Grand Prix wins to his name and a total of 21 podium finishes.
In Debise, Speed Up’s team manager Luca Boscoscuro believes there is a rider with huge potential and is optimistic that the young Frenchman will progress further in 2011 on the FTR machine.
“We’re really keen to be able to continue the successful partnership with Luca Boscoscuro and the Speed Up Team,” said FTR’s Steve Bones. “What they did in 2010 was exceptional and we’re sure that they have everything needed to challenge at the front again in 2011.
“With Pol Espargaro they should be able to battle for podiums immediately while Valentin Debise is more of an unknown quantity but will be fully armed with the best equipment and technical staff so we’re hoping he will start to fulfil some of his potential.
“Extending the relationship with the Speed Up team’s technical staff is also important for the development of our new chassis and we’re thankful to the team for their 2010 efforts, feedback and data that has helped us improve the FTR Moto2 machine extensively for 2011.”