The Marc VDS Racing Team today made the difficult decision to replace Vincent Lonbois with Hector Faubel for the 2010 Moto2 World Championship season. Faubel will make his debut for the team in the first race of the season, which takes place next weekend at the Losail International circuit in Qatar.
Lonbois, who finished third in the 2009 European Superstock Championship, has struggled during pre-season testing to adapt to the Suter MMX Moto2 machine that the Marc VDS Racing Team will campaign in the first year of the new championship.
Despite an extensive pre-season test programme, the final IRTA test at Jerez saw Lonbois languishing at the bottom of the order, unable to master a bike that filled two of the top four places on the final timesheet. Unfortunately, there was no indication that additional track time during the season would improve the situation for the 19-year-old Belgian rider.
With the Marc VDS Racing Team committed to a fully competitive entry in the Moto2 World Championship this season, the team were left with no option but to replace Lonbois with a rider with more experience in Grand Prix racing, and more capable of supporting Scott Redding’s assault on the championship title.
Faubel has an impressive track record in Grand Prix racing. The 26-year-old rider, from Valencia in Spain, finished second in the 2007 125cc World Championship standings, before moving up to the 250cc class where, last year, he finished ninth in the championship.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
“It was obvious from the start of pre-season testing that Vincent was struggling to adapt to the Moto2 bike after a career on production machinery. We had hoped that he’d get to grips with the bike during the final IRTA test at Jerez but the lap times just hadn’t improved by the end of the three-days and Vincent still looked very uncomfortable on the bike. It was obvious to the team, and also to Vincent himself, that his riding style simply doesn’t suit our particular Moto2 bike. Replacing Vincent before the start of the season was a hard decision to make, as we are a Belgian team and we wanted to field a Belgian rider, but it was the right decision for the team and also for Vincent as well. ”
“We came into the Moto2 World Championship determined to be competitive as a team, and that requires two riders capable of running at the front of a race. I am confident that Hector, with years of Grand Prix experience behind him, will adapt quickly to the Suter MMX machine. Without the benefit of pre-season testing this will take him a little time, sure, but I expect him to be fully up to speed by the time we return to Europe for the third race of the season; the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.”
Marc van der Straten: President, Marc VDS Racing Team
“The decision to replace Vincent wasn’t taken lightly. As a Belgian team it is our goal to have a Belgian rider on our bike in the Moto2 World Championship. We hoped that we’d see our dream realised this season, but it wasn’t to be. Vincent has worked hard in testing to adapt to the Moto2 bike, but it just hasn’t happened for him. I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that he would have struggled to be competitive this year and, for a racer, that’s a bitter pill to swallow. As a team we came into this championship determined to secure good results. Scott Redding has shown the bike is competitive, but now we need a second rider capable of pushing Scott in the races. Hector comes highly recommended and, I hope, we’ll see him challenging his teammate at the front of the race very soon. It also goes without saying that we wish Vincent every success in whatever he chooses to do next in his career.”