Three Brits to do battle in 2012 Moto2 series
Scott Redding, Bradley Smith and Gino Rea will lead the British challenge in the 2012 Moto2 world championship.
Redding is poised for his third attack on the 600cc four-stroke class and remains with the Belgium-based Marc VDS Racing squad. The 19-year-old though has switched from a Suter to a Kalex frame in 2012.
Oxfordshire rider Smith, who scored three podium finishes in an impressive debut season in 2011, will lead the Tech 3 Racing assault on the Mistral 610 machine.
World Supersport winner Rea’s switch to Moto2 has finally been confirmed after he tested a Gresini/Moriwaki machine before Christmas.
He has clinched a deal with the Gresini squad and will race with the number 8. Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot will be his team-mate.
The Moto2 class looks like being another ultra-competitive series in 2012. Reigning 125GP world champion Nicolas Terol has moved up and he will ride a Suter MMXII machine for the Spanish-based Aspar squad.
His 2011 rival Johann Zarco has also made the step up and the Frenchman will ride for the JiR squad on a Motobi machine.
Much attention will focus on Toni Elias next season. The Spaniard is back in Moto2 after a disastrous 2011 MotoGP campaign with the LCR Honda squad.
Elias dominated the inaugural Moto2 series in 2010 and he is back trying to reclaim the title by partnering Terol in the Aspar squad.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect as the start of the new season approaches in Qatar on April 8 is the fitness of red-hot title favourite Marc Marquez.
The Spaniard is still suffering vision problems caused from a heavy practice crash in Sepang back on October 21 and there are rumours in Spain that he might struggle to be ready for the start of the season.
Spanish female racer Elena Rossel is also given a full-time slot on the grid after appearing as a wild card for the Aspar squad last season. She will ride a Moriwaki frame for the QMMF outfit.
Aside from Redding, Smith and Rea, there is plenty of additional British interest in Moto2 with chassis specialists FTR. They have four confirmed entries and in Andrea Iannone and Julian Simon have two riders well capable of being title contenders.
Provisional Moto2 entry list
3 SIMONE CORSI ITA - IODA RACING PROJECT, IODA
4 RANDY KRUMMENACHER SWI - GP TEAM SWITZERLAND, SUTER
5 JOHANN ZARCO FRA - JIR Moto2, MOTOBI
7 ALEXANDER LUNDH SWE - MZ RACING TEAM MZ-RE, HONDA
8 GINO REA GBR - GRESINI RACING Moto2, MORIWAKI
9 KENNY NOYES USA - ARGUIÑANO RACING TEAM, TBA
12 THOMAS LUTHI SWI - INTERWETTEN-PADDOCK Moto2, SUTER
14 RATTHAPARK WILAIROT THA - GRESINI RACING Moto2, MORIWAKI
15 ALEX DE ANGELIS ITA - FORWARD RACING, SUTER
18 NICOLAS TEROL SPA - ASPAR TEAM Moto2, SUTER
19 XAVIER SIMEON BEL - TECH 3 RACING, TECH 3
24 TONI ELIAS SPA - ASPAR TEAM Moto2, SUTER
29 ANDREA IANNONE ITA - SPEED MASTER, FTR
30 TAKAAKI NAKAGAMI JAP - ITALTRANS RACING TEAM, KALEX
36 MIKA KALLIO FIN - MARC VDS RACING TEAM, KALEX
38 BRADLEY SMITH GBR - TECH 3 RACING, TECH 3
40 POL ESPARGARO SPA - PONS RACING PONS, KALEX
44 ROBERTO ROLFO ITA - TECHNOMAG-CIP, SUTER
45 SCOTT REDDING GBR - MARC VDS RACING TEAM, KALEX
47 ANGEL RODRIGUEZ SPA - SAG TEAM, FTR
49 AXEL PONS SPA - PONS RACING PONS, KALEX
57 ERIC GRANADO BRA - JIR Moto2, MOTOBI
60 JULIAN SIMON SPA - BQR, FTR
63 MIKE DI MEGLIO FRA - SPEED UP, FTR
71 CLAUDIO CORTI ITA - ITALTRANS RACING TEAM, KALEX
72 YUKI TAKAHASHI JAP - FORWARD RACING, SUTER
76 MAX NEUKIRCHNER GER - KIEFER RACING, KALEX
77 DOMINIQUE AEGERTER SWI - TECHNOMAG-CIP, SUTER
80 ESTEVE RABAT SPA - PONS RACING PONS, KALEX
82 ELENA ROSELL SPA - QMMF RACING TEAM, MORIWAKI
88 RICKY CARDUS SPA - QMMF RACING TEAM, MORIWAKI
93 MARC MARQUEZ SPA - MONLAU COMPETICION, SUTER
TO BE ANNOUNCED - SAG TEAM, FTR