Photography by Gold & Goose
Road racer Ratthapark Wilairot will ride for the Core PTR Honda team in the 2014 World Supersport Championship, the Thai making the move from Moto2 to World Supersport.
"I am really happy to be racing for Core PTR Honda in the World Supersport Championship. Our aims are the same,” the 25-year-old Wilairot said in a team release. “We want to race at the front and challenge for the podium. I think together we will be able to do this and I am looking forward to getting to know the team and bike better."
Wilairot failed to score a championship point in the 2013 Moto2 World Championship and announced that he was retiring in August. He was replaced on the Gresini Suter 2 team by countryman Thitpong Warokorn.
The Thai rider suffered serious injuries in a scooter accident in Thailand prior to the 2011 racing season and he was again injured later in the year when Marc Marquez hit him from behind after the checkered flag had been shown in a practice session at Phillip Island in Australia.
"We are excited to have Ratthapark join us as he has undoubted talent and raw speed as he has proved in Moto2 and 250cc GP,” team manager Simon Buckmaster said. “He is a quick rider that I think will benefit from having one of the best bikes in the championship and a team fully behind him as he goes for the best results possible.
"Ratthapark will race in Core PTR Honda colors but he will benefit from being in the same garage as Jack Kennedy on the CIA PTR Honda bike. Nacho Calero, on the other CIA PTR Honda bike, will also benefit from the experience and speed around him. Together I think these racers will push and encourage each other to achieve the best they can and we are looking forward to testing in January already. We are looking to announce a fourth rider to complete the squad as soon as possible."
The team is set to test at Portimao, January 19-20.