Marc VDS Racing abandon plans for 2015 MotoGP switch

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Belgium’s high-profile Marc VDS Racing squad has abandoned plans to switch to MotoGP in 2015.

Marc VDS Racing looked seriously at moving to MotoGP at this time last year but a deal never materialised and the dominant Moto2 squad of 2014 has again called off its bid to move to the premier class.

Marc VDS boss Michael Bartholemy has been in discussions with Yamaha about leasing a YZR-M1 engine package to run in a Kalex frame. Bartholemy had also spoken to Honda about buying one of the Japanese factory’s RCV1000R production machines, which get a major engine upgrade for 2014.

Bartholemy though confirmed that his squad will operate exclusively in Moto2 in 2015, with its one-rider Moto3 effort being shut down at the end of the season.

Teenager Livio Loi was axed earlier this week after a disappointing season, though his replacement for the rest of the season has still not been announced.

Bartholemy told MCN: “It’s too late for next year to move to MotoGP and we have taken the decision that we will go in 2016 because no manufacturer has offered us a package that would be good enough to make results that Marc (van der Straten) would expect. It is better to wait and prepare for 2016.”

By waiting to enter MotoGP in 2016, Marc VDS could have the possibility of securing more competitive machinery, with controlled electronics coming in across the board.

Bartholemy added: “There will be a big change in 2016 with the new rules and we have to see how good the Open bike from Honda will be next year compared to the Yamaha. After three races next year we should be able to decide which is the best way to go. We couldn’t get a Honda for next year and Yamaha could supply engines but we had to do our own chassis. And it is so difficult to make a bike that can compete with the factories. You will fight for positions 17 to 24, which is not where we want to be.”

With Marc VDS not moving to MotoGP next season, its current Moto2 world championship leader Tito Rabat has confirmed he will be stay with the squad for another Moto2 assault in 2015.

The Spaniard had the option to move to MotoGP next year if he could have secured a Factory bike in the premier class, and wrapped up the Moto2 crown.

But Bartholemy added: “Tito has a two-year contract with us, including 2015, but there was a clause in case he is world champion and he has one of the eight Factory bikes, then he could have left.   He only wants to go to MotoGP if he has the material to fight against (Marc) Marquez. Knowing him I felt he would prefer to stay with us for another year and move to MotoGP in 2016 when it will be much easier with the new rules.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt