Quarataro signs with Leopard, Locatelli confirmed

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Leopard Racing look set to continue to be a front runner in Moto3 next year after confirming their rider lineup for the 2016 season. With Danny Kent sent to move to Moto2 and Efren Vazquez reaching the maximum age for a Moto3 rider the team has confirmed that Fabio Quartararo will join the team with Andrea Locatelli and Joan Mir completing a three rider lineup.

“I am very proud to join Leopard Racing from 2016,” said Quartararo. “Indeed, I am really excited to work again with Christian Lundberg, the engineer with who I won my first FIM CEV Title in 2013. For the next two years, my career will be linked with this young structure, based on a solid project for the future. It perfectly matches with my goals. I would like to give a huge “thanks” to all people who have supported me till now and also to Leopard Racing for trusting in me. I will keep giving my best at every turn, lap and race to honour the trust they have bestowed on me. I hope guys, you will enjoy it too.”

The signing of Quartararo was first speculated at Indianapolis and while it came as some surprise to see him leave the Monlou/Marc VDS stable the success of Leopard this year, and the introduction of their Moto2 squad from next year, makes them a very appealing team for any young rider to join.

Locatelli has shown flashes of his potential this year at Gresini and is looking forward to making the move to the German squad.

“I’m so proud and grateful for this big opportunity that the Leopard Racing team give me for the next season,” Locatelli said. “I’m really happy about this agreement so I will be working hard during the winter months but also during the pre-season testing’s with the team because I need to know my new technical staff about their way of working. For this, I am highly motivated to pay back the team and people in Leopard Racing my thanks for believing in me.”

The signing of Mir was confirmed earlier this summer with the Spaniard competing for Leopard in the Junior World Championship.

It is expected that Kent will announce his plans today with the Moto3 championship leader almost certain to turn down MotoGP advances and remain with Leopard for their move to Moto2.

Steve English

By Steve English