"I'm obviously delighted"
The Chinese Maxtra 125 GP racing team confirmed last week that Red Bull Rookie star and race winner Matt Hoyle has been signed as its second rider.
In 2009 the 17-year-old Briton will pair with experienced Austrian GP star Michael Ranseder
to campaign the all new racing motorcycle in its first adventurous season of competition.
The pair will ride together for the first time at the Maxtra team's 2009 debut at pre-season testing in the south of Spain in mid-February. Team Director Garry Taylor announced the signing of Hoyle from the Maxtra team's UK headquarters.
"Matt took part in our UK development programme during 2008 on the suggestion of our development rider Michael Wilcox. We also watched him at a number of the Red Bull Rookie rounds, including Indianapolis, where Kevin Schwantz and I saw his potential.
The Maxtra Racing management team of Simon Wei, John Surtees, Steve Harris and I were all impressed by Matt's input, maturity, attitude and enthusiasm.
Matt will make a great team mate for Michael Ranseder and will quickly contribute to the machine's progress. We are very excited to have him on strength."
Like many of today's leading stars, the young Northerner from Bradford near Leeds started racing off road, competing in youth motocross from the age of six. He moved on to road racing as soon as the rules allowed at the age of eleven, winning an 80cc championship in his second season and then moving up to 125s at the age of 13.
In the past three seasons Matt competed in the British Superbikes 125 Championship, moving from 26th in 2006 to 11th in 2007 to first in 2008. In 2007 he competed the Red Bull Rookies series finishing third overall and in 2008 he again rode the whole series, taking a total of six podiums and one win to secure 7th overall.
Hoyle was excited at sharing the adventure of taking the Maxtra from ground zero to compete in the toughest class in MotoGP.
"I'm obviously delighted to be making the move up to GP racing", said Hoyle.
"I'll be working with some real legends, so I've got a lot to live up to, but I'm really looking forward to it."