Photography By Andrea Wilson
America now has no riders in Motorcycle Grand Prix racing after it was announced today that Moto2 racer Josh Herrin has been released by AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing and will be replaced by Ratthapark Wilairot for the remainder of the season.
Herrin, the 2013 AMA Superbike Champion, had what could only be described as a dreadful showing in Moto2. Herrin crashed out of four rounds of the Moto2 series and missed two rounds due to injury. He failed to score a single world championship point in the 10 races he contested. Herrin’s best result came at Catalunya where he finished 16th. His best qualifying effort of the season was 23rd at Indianapolis.
When reached for comment this morning, Herrin was stunned that the news release had been issued by the team. He declined to comment until speaking with his manager.
The statement released this morning by the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing team read:
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.”