MotoGP: Tony Arbolino joins Elf Marc VDS for 2022 Moto2 season
Tony Arbolino will switch to the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team for the 2022 Moto2 season after signing a two-year deal with the Belgian squad.
Arbolino moved into the intermediate class this season with Liqui Moly Intact GP after finishing 2020 as the Moto3 runner-up - finishing just four points behind champion Albert Arenas.
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In his final two years in Moto3, Arbolino secured three victories and 12 podiums, as well as four pole positions. In his maiden Moto2 campaign, Arbolino currently sits 16th overall in the standings with 33 points. Arbolino's clinched a best result of fourth at Le Mans.
“I’m really very happy to be part of this project," Arbolino said. "I think it’s a great opportunity to improve and keep moving forward in my career. I chose this team precisely because I think it is one of the best in the category and the connection I felt was immediate. They loved me and I loved them, and this is something very important for me.
"I needed this change, and I am proud that Marc van der Straten and his team have trusted me to represent them. I will do my best to show my talent and I will work hard to get the best possible results. The goal will be to fight consistently with the fastest riders in the category and be battling for podiums and victories."
The move to Elf Marc VDS certainly boosts Arbolino's championship chances in his second Moto2 campaign and beyond. Marc van der Straten's team have been crowned Moto2 champions on three occasions - 2014 (Tito Rabat), 2017 (Franco Morbidelli) and 2019 (Alex Marquez).
“It is a great pleasure for me to welcome to our team a young and talented rider like Tony Arbolino," Van Der Straten added. "We are very motivated to accompany him in his growth in the Moto2 class and to be able to enjoy great success together.
"We know he has great potential and a strength to compete and stand up to any opponent. We are eager to embark on this new adventure together with a rider who shares our philosophy and way of doing things."
Arbolino is expected to take the position currently held by Augusto Fernandez, who has been linked with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team following the upcoming departures of Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez. Moto3 rookie sensation Pedro Acosta is the favourite to join Augusto Fernandez at Aki Ajo's team in 2022.