Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS have announced that Swiss Moto2 veteran Thomas Lüthi will move up to the premier class with the outfit in 2018, partnering current Moto2 title rival Franco Morbidelli.

Lüthi made his World Championship debut in the 125cc class at the 2002 German Grand Prix before joining the series full time in 2003. In 2005 the Swiss rider took his first Grand Prix win at Le Mans, before three more wins that year saw him crowned 125cc World Champion at the end of the season.

Lüthi is a regular frontrunner and winner in Moto2, and was the Championship runner up last year. He is currently second in the standings, having taken a long run of podiums and one win – only 26 points behind Franco Morbidelli.

The Swiss rider also has previous MotoGP experience, having tested for KTM in 2016 before their entry to the World Championship in 2017.

Marc van der Straten, President – Marc VDS Racing Team:

“There were a number of options open to us when we were looking for a MotoGP rider for the 2018 season, but Thomas Lüthi was the unanimous choice, despite him being a MotoGP rookie. A former 125cc World Champion, his consistency over seven seasons in Moto2 has been incredible, with a sixth place in 2013 the only time he’s finished outside the top five in the championship. He’s been a constant thorn in our side in the intermediate class and this year is no different, with his consistency again making him a serious threat to our title aspirations. Tom is a good fit for our team and I am both happy and proud to welcome him to the Marc VDS racing family.”