Kuala Lumpur, 3 May 2015 - Team JPMoto has announced a replacement rider in American Danny Eslick to take the place of the injured Efren Vazquez, starting with this weekend Round 5 of the MotoGP in Le Mans, France. This will be the fifth rider in two seasons with the one-bike JPMoto Malaysia team.
In its inaugural 2015 season, the team started off with local Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Zaidi was replaced by Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot, only to eventually be replaced by Spanish Ricard Cardus. With Ricard Cardus, the team managed to garner a total of 20 points for the 2015 season, way ahead of the team’s projection to get a single point form this prestigious World Motorcycle Championship.
For the current 2016 season when we saw a continuing exodus of teams to chassis manufacturer Kalex, JPMoto Malaysia remained as a solitary entry for Suter, the Swiss-based manufacturer. Efren Vazquez was named as the team rider for 2016, as a natural progression for him after his successful career in the Moto3 class. Efren was due to start using the latest 2016 Suter from the Jerez round. Unfortunately, he suffered a major crash in the COTA race and the team was forced to skip the Jerez Round 4.
With those circumstances, this weekend Le Mans round will see the first and only 2016 Suter Moto2 bike to be piloted by the only American rider in all classes of the 2016 season of the MotoGP.
Team Manager, Raja Zaini said the team is having a mixed feelings for this weekend’s race in Le Mans. “Though we are excited with the prospect of having Danny astride our brand-new 2016 Suter, our heart goes to Efren. We know Efren is a fighter and he will be back. Unfortunately, the word is that his full recovery may take weeks or even months.”
Historically the Suter has been considered to be wanting to be ridden in a particular, more aggressive way. In contrary, the Kalex frame is often associated with being rider friendly, suited for a wide range of riding style. It is however much harder on tires and whatever advantages it has will be negated in the wet. On this note, Eslick who has four professional titles and two consecutive Daytona 200 championships under his belt commented that he has been able to adapt pretty quickly to many motorcycles throughout his career, and he hopes to be able to tame this beast.
Suter has proven to be competitive with the right setup to the rider’s riding style as proven by Marc Marquez who took the Suter to victory in 2012.
The Moto2 race this Sunday will start at 12:20pm local circuit time, 6:20pm Malaysian time, and 5:20am for those in USA CDT time zone.
-JPMoto Malaysia Racing Team facebook.