MotoGP: Luthi confirmed at Marc VDS for 2018
Moto2 championship contender Thomas Luthi will, as first reported last week by MCN last week, step up to the premier class in 2018 with the Marc VDS squad. The news was confirmed on Thursday morning ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Swiss rider will join Franco Morbidelli at the squad, and team boss Marc van der Straten says he’ll be a welcome addition to the team.
"There were a number of options open to us when we were looking for a MotoGP rider for the 2018 season, but Thomas Lüthi was the unanimous choice, despite him being a MotoGP rookie. A former 125cc World Champion, his consistency over seven seasons in Moto2 has been incredible, with a sixth place in 2013 the only time he's finished outside the top five in the championship.
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“He's been a constant thorn in our side in the intermediate class and this year is no different, with his consistency again making him a serious threat to our title aspirations. Tom is a good fit for our team and I am both happy and proud to welcome him to the Marc VDS racing family."
The team have yet to confirm what machinery they’ll be running in 2018, after saying that they wished to have two riders signed before confirming a manufacturer’s deal – but are expected to remain with current manufacturer Honda.
The announcement means that there’s now only two spots remaining to be confirmed on the grid, with the Reale Avintia Ducati seats still up for grabs – with Mika Kallio, Xavier Simeon and current rider Hector Barbera all in the running for it.
The news also means that British racer Sam Lowes likely to return to the middleweight class for next season after losing out to Luthi for the Marc VDS seat.