When the MotoGP paddock rolls into the brickyard on the weekend of August 16-18 for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, it will do so with the GP Tech team and James Rispoli as the two-time AMA Supersport Champion gets the opportunity to race on the world stage as a wild-card rider in Moto2.
Joining Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards and Blake Young as the Americans competing at Indy, Rispoli – the only American in Moto2 – will race on the latest-spec Tech 3 Mistral 610.
“I’m really excited for sure,” Rispoli said in a phone conversation. “It’s a big opportunity to get to ride in the premier World Championship. It’s a big honor to even get a wild-card entry, to ride with that caliber of talent… I’m really excited. A little nervous, but more excited than anything.”
The young American is not a complete stranger to racing in foreign championships as he had the opportunity to race in the last round of the British Supertock 600 Series for the Swan Yamaha team last season. Stepping into a championship for a one-off race is always difficult task and when you add the fact that Rispoli hasn’t ridden at Indy or even sat on a Moto2 bike before, it will be a big ask. But fortunately Rispoli will get the chance to test the bike twice, at a still-to-be-determined track here in the U.S. and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the wild-card test.
“We’re going in with the mentality the same way we went in over in BSB,” Rispoli said. “Just an open mind knowing it’s going to be extremely tough. It’s going to be hard to get close to those boys, but we’re going to just take every session step by step and just keep moving, moving forward and keep improving as the weekend keeps going on.”