For Thai racing
The MotoGP World Championship is truly an international affair, and will welcome another nationality to the 250cc 2007 entry list next season with the signing of Ratthapark Wilairot for Stop And Go Racing.
The runner-up in last season's 250cc category
in the Japanese Championship, Wilairot will ride a Honda RS250R Kit A in his debut season after an impressive wildcard appearance in the World Championship. The Thai rider took tenth at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, and will have a chance to try his hand at 17 other circuits as a result of the deal signed between A.P. Honda Thailand and Stop And Go Racing today.
The Spanish outfit's Team Manager Eduardo Perales spoke to the media after the agreement was confirmed: "It is an important step forward in our agreement with A.P. Honda, and an historic day for our team."
"It is very important for us to have Honda Thailand's utmost confidence in our team to make Ratthapark available for us. After watching his performance at Motegi, we knew that he would be wanted by anyone looking for a future star," he commented.
The significance of the deal for A.P. Honda was also expressed by President Zenjiro Sakurai, when he stated that "Ratthapark is a point of reference for 70 million Thais, and we are happy to see him defending the country's colours. The Stop And Go agreement will be the first step to raising the profile of motorcycle racing in Thailand."
Pressed for his own thoughts, Wilairot said: "I am ecstatic about a dream that I have had since childhood coming true. I want to thank both parties for their confidence in me, and I hope to make the most of this fantastic opportunity."
Wilairot will travel to Spain in January to set up his base by the team's factory ahead of his debut season.
DORNA / CAPSIS International