As I wrote on the forum September 3, 2009, and in particular, as I hoped, Ratthapark Wilairot will ride the Bimota Hb4. The structure directed by Eduardo Perales has reached an agreement with Italian manufacturer Bimota to use their chassis in the inaugural Moto2 World Championship.
Thai Honda PTT SAG this week ensured their presence in the new Moto2 category with a deal to use Bimota as their chassis for the 2010 World Championship. The team, directed by Edu Perales, are set to contest the campaign with Thai Ratthapark Wilairot and Spaniard Héctor Faubel, and both riders are due to get their first contact with the new bike at the final official pre-season test at Jerez (March 27-29).
The team’s preparations for the new season suffered a delay after their initial agreement with Swiss manufacturer Suter broke down due to contractual disagreements.
Perales said of the situation: “We had a preliminary agreement with Suter but there were some terms in the final contract with which we did not agree and in the end we have decided to go with Bimota. We are pleased because it represents a more direct, more human contact, and if there are problems it will be much easier to resolve them.”
The deal with the Rimini-based manufacturer will make Thai Honda PTT SAG the only team on the grid with the Bimota chassis. For the head of the Moto2 team this is a situation that will be an advantage when dealing with the factory.
“There will only be two riders using the Bimota frame in the World Championship. If you are one of 12 then unfortunately it is always a little more difficult when you raise your hand,” said Perales, before commenting on the performance of the Italian chassis. “It’s making very good times. At the moment it has only been ridden on Italian circuits, not World Championship circuits, but the bike is going very well and does not have any problems with chatter – it’s a factory bike. Bimota only make chassis, so there is little doubt about their ability.”
The problem with the lack of kilometres for the two riders during the pre-season is a worry for the team bosses, but in general terms it is not being considered as an obstacle to achieving the planned goals.
“We have a handicap in that we have done fewer kilometres than the others but we intend to have first contact with the prototype in Valencia or Almeria, on the way to Jerez for the official test where we’ll ride the official bikes,” explained Perales. “We’ve lost the previous tests at Jerez and Valencia but with the rain not much was able to be done. Our idea is to always be amongst the top ten with both riders – then anything can happen, but we are the only ones with Showa (suspension) and with a Bimota, and this can be a risk or an advantage. We will start to see at Jerez.”
The team has retained for 2010 its support from Honda Thailand, Thai oil company PTT and all the sponsors from last year. The signature of the contract with Faubel is pending on the imminent arrival of a new sponsor. “The idea is to close the deal with the second rider either today or tomorrow, we’re waiting for the sponsor who covers that part of the budget but I am optimistic. I think it will be done in the next few hours and that the team will have two riders who will ride with different colours, like last year,” concluded Perales.