American Superbike Champion, Josh Herrin, has been relieved of his duties with the AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team, effective immediately. The Grand Prix rookie had been struggling all year to come to grips with a new bike, new team, and world-championship level racing. When an injury forced him to miss the Jerez round earlier this year, replacement rider, former Moto2 competitor and current World Supersport combatant, Ratthapark Wilairot, impressed the team with his ability to come up to speed quickly. The Thai rider will take over the second seat in the team for the rest of the season. The official press release follows.
AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing can today announce that Ratthapark Wilairot will join the team at the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini.
Wilairot will replace Josh Herrin on the Caterham Suter for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Following his impressive debut with the team at the Jerez GP, the 26 year old Thai rider was an obvious choice to contest the final six rounds of the Moto2 Championship.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: “We have decided to replace Josh with Ratthapark. It was not an easy decision but it was necessary in order to try to bring better results on that side of the garage.
“We are here to be competitive with two riders and the expectations were made clear from the start of the season. Unfortunately these goals have not been met, despite our best efforts and support to Josh.
“We wish Josh all the best for the future and at the same time welcome Ratthapark to our team. I am happy that Ratthapark is joining us as we know he has the ability to battle for the points and can help us to gain good results, so let’s now see how we can improve for the final six races of the season.”
Ratthapark Wilairot: “Firstly I have to say thank you very much to Tony Fernandes, Mia Sharizman, Johan Stigefelt and AirAsia for giving me this big present to ride in Moto2 until the end of the season. Also I want to thank CORE and PTR who have allowed me to do my favourite career.
“I am feeling fresh and excited to get back into the Moto2 garage, especially with the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team. I made one race at Jerez already this year with them and I really enjoyed it! All the people in the team are working hard and helped me a lot with everything; it’s like a big family.
“I hope to repay them for this opportunity by doing a good job and achieving positive results for the remaining six races. In Jerez we worked well together and gained valuable information for set up with the Caterham Suter bike, so I am confident that we can build on this.
“My target is to score points and finish in the top fifteen. I will open the gas and get near to the top guys.”