2011 MotoGP Americans
The number of American riders competing full time in Grand Prix motorcycle racing (MotoGP) in 2011 climbed to four as Kenny Noyes will stay in Moto2 with the BQR team.
Noyes, from Borrego Springs, Calif., will return to the World Championship class for 600cc machines for the second consecutive season, including the 2011 Laguna Seca MotoGP on July 22-24 and the Indy GP on Aug. 26-28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Moto2 is the final stepping-stone to the premier MotoGP class, which will feature Americans Nicky Hayden, Ben Spies and Colin Edwards in 2011.
Noyes moves to BQR after spending last year with fellow Spanish team Promoracing, which suddenly withdrew from the championship after the season due to financial problems. Noyes will team with Colombian Yonny Hernandez and Spaniard Esteve Rabat on FTR chassis.
The ride with BQR is a homecoming for Noyes. He began his road-racing career in Spain with the team, owned by Raul Romero, in 2001 after competing in dirt-track events in the United States.
Kenny Noyes (2011 Moto2) says: "I am really glad to be back with Raúl Romero and BQR team," explains the American rider. "I want to especially thank Angus Borland for stepping up to help make this work with BQR. Thanks also Geoff Maloney for putting us together with Fogi Racing, to my helmet sponsor, HJC, and my leathers sponsor, Arlen Ness, for sticking with me through all this.
"It has been a rough time for us. I had shoulder surgery at the beginning of December and was still in the hospital when I got the call telling me that the team had pulled out because of sponsor problems. We started working that same day to find a competitive team.
"I've been in the gym for the last three weeks and will start riding dirt bikes next week. I ride the FTR for the first time on Feb. 7 at the Circuit of Catalunya. I'll be a little sore at first, maybe at about 80 percent for the first preseason tests, but I'll be 100 percent ready when the season starts at Qatar in March. I'm stoked!"
Noyes' FTR chassis will sport Avintia-STX colors, with additional support from Fogi Racing of Canada and GPtech of the United States. GPtech, led by team manager Geoff Maloney, fielded a wild-card Moto2 entry at the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at IMS for American Jason DiSalvo.
"From our experience at Indy, we learned a lot about the FTR, and we believe Kenny, who had some good results in his first GP season, will run in the lead group in 2011," Maloney said.
"This year he knows all the tracks and I believe will be on a more competitive bike."
Noyes finished 24th last season in the 40-rider class in his first season of Grand Prix racing, as he jumped straight to Moto2 without any experience in the 125cc class. His best finish was seventh, twice.
But the highlight of his rookie year came when he captured the pole for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, one of 14 tracks on which he never had competed before 2010.
The 2011 MotoGP season starts Sunday, March 20 with the Grand Prix of Qatar, the only night race on the calendar.