Karel Abraham gets a promotion from Moto2 where he will campaign for his father's new Cardion AB Ducati squad.
The new Cardion AB Ducati squad unveiled its MotoGP team livery January 14 in Prauge. While the factory Ducati boys, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, were hitting the slopes at Wrooom 2011
, rider Karel Abraham pulled the wraps off his Desmosedici GP11 in his home country.
Abraham will become the first ever Czech rider in the premier GP class. The 21-year-old’s Grand Prix career includes two years in the 125 series, moving up to the 250 class in 2007. His best GP campaign came in last year’s inaugural Moto2 series, where he placed 10th overall with two podiums including victory at the Valencia finale.
The Czech rider will join a large six-rider Ducati contingent in the 2011 paddock: Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden for the factory Marlboro team, Randy de Puniet and Loris Capirossi for the Pramac team and Hector Barbera with the one-rider Aspar team.
Abraham turned his first laps aboard the Ducati GP bike at the season-ending Valencia test where on the second day he paced faster than fellow Moto2 call-up Toni Elias. Abraham was 1.7 seconds adrift of the leading pace set by Casey Stoner and commented of the Ducati post-test: “The bike is much more difficult to control and requires perfect physical fitness.”
The Cardion AB squad is owned by Karel Abraham Sr. who said of his son’s first efforts aboard the Ducati at Valencia. “Compared to the last year, rookies Bautista and Barbera were three seconds slower than the fastest riders. Karel lost only 1.7 seconds although Lorenzo was as fast as he was during the race weekend.”
The team’s crew chief, Marco Grana, was also optimistic about the Valencia testing effort: "Karel proved that he is a very fast rider. He has a huge potential to do well right from the start of the season. Next year there will be a lot of fast riders in the premier class so it is clear that the competition will be huge. But in Valencia we showed what we are able to do.”
Abraham and the rest of the Grand Prix paddock will get back to work after the long winter break at the Sepang Test on February 1st.