Ousted Aspar Aprilia 250cc Grand Prix rider Gabor Talmacsi has made a surprise switch to the premier MotoGP class with Team Scot Honda for this weekend, joining the team on Yuki Takahashi’s second RC212V.
In a move that’s likely to remain for the rest of the 2009 season, the Hungarian former 125cc World Champion will make his MotoGP debut in practice later this evening (Australian time), but will benefit massively from the scheduled post-race test on Monday.
Talmacsi was rumoured to be joining the team last month but that speculation quickly dissolved, leaving the paddock shocked when Team Scot arrived this weekend with Talmacsi’s decals on the spare machine after gaining permission from HRC on the eve of the round.
Funding from Talmacsi is said to be the instigator in the move, effectively saving the Italian team which was financially insecure before the deal with Talmacsi was struck midway through the season.
It is now uncertain whether or not the team will be able to continue fielding HRC’s Japanese favourite Takahashi, even though it has long been a request of Honda for at least one factory-supported team to field a Japanese rider on its bike.
The addition of Talmacsi and the return of Sete Gibernau to action this weekend sees the biggest grid of the year with 19, which is a slight improvement over the 17 that lined up in Mugello’s previous round.
Check the News Releases section after the practice finishes to see how Talmacsi acclimatised to the MotoGP Honda.