MotoGP: Rory Skinner signs two-year Moto2 deal with American Racing

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Rory Skinner will race in the Moto2 World Championship next year after signing a two-year contract with the American Racing Team.

The Scot has been linked with a move to the Grand Prix paddock for the majority of the season, and made two wildcard appearances for American Racing at Silverstone and Red Bull Ring earlier this year. Skinner finished 21st in both rounds.

Skinner has Grand Prix paddock experience having competed in the Red Bull Rookies and Junior Moto3 World Championship in his teenage years. He also won the British Talent Cup in 2018 before being crowned the youngest-ever British Supersport Champion in 2020.

The 21-year-old has been managed by American Racing owner Eitan Butbul and Team Race Director John Hopkins for the last couple of years.

“I’m delighted to be joining American Racing for the next two seasons,” Skinner said. “Racing in the Grand Prix paddock is every rider’s dream, and opportunities like these don’t come along often, especially for British riders.

“American Racing feels like the perfect team to make my full-time Moto2 debut with. Eitan and John have worked with me for the past two seasons and right from the beginning, they knew where I wanted to be and have been true to their promise in supporting me in my ambitions.

“We’ve done two wildcards earlier this year, which confirmed that this is where I want to be, even though I am under no illusions as to just how competitive Moto2 is. I will be doing everything I can to repay the faith they’ve shown in me.”

Rory Skinner and manager John Hopkins at the Red Bull Ring

The announcement brings an end to Skinner’s time in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship. Skinner has raced for the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team for the last two seasons, securing seven podiums and a spot inside the Showdown this campaign.

“I also want to thank all the people who have supported me in the past four seasons in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship paddock,” Skinner added. “From my dad running me on a private Kawasaki in British Supersport to Robin and Doug for giving me the chance at Appleyard Macadam Racing, and of course my current FS-3 Racing team, I am very lucky to have worked with some amazing people who have helped me develop as both a person and a rider in what is a high-level championship.”

Skinner’s 2022 campaign came to a premature end after he broke his hand in an incident involving Christian Iddon at Oulton Park. Prior to that, the 21-year-old had finished on the podium five times, whilst also securing 13 top six results.

In a statement published via their social media channels, the FS-3 Racing squad said the following about Skinner’s departure from the team:

“Although we are extremely sad to lose Rory from FS3, we are also delighted that one of our main team initiatives, to develop young British talent, has come to fruition in the Moto2 paddock.

“As a front running BSB team, it’s easy to overlook a long-term development plan in return for instant results. We believe every team in the paddock has the responsibility to nurture young talent to keep the UK riders at the forefront of World Racing and show everyone that the British Superbike Championship is the strongest domestic championship in the world.

“We wish Rory all the luck in the world, and we will follow him closely knowing we’ve done our part to give him the chance he deserves. Now all we need to do is find the next new talent and give them their opportunity to shine…!!”