Marc VDS Honda rider Thomas Luthi will return to Moto2 from 2019 season onward after one year in MotoGP, it has been announced.
The 31-year-old graduated to the premier class in 2018 to partner 2017 Moto2 champion and rival Franco Morbidelli at Marc VDS in an all-rookie line-up. However, Luthi has struggled so far in the 10 MotoGP rounds.
The Swiss rider is the only other beside Avintia Ducati’s Xavier Simeon to still score a championship point. Morbidelli, on the other hand has scored 22 points despite missing two rounds and is the second-best rookie behind Tech 3 Yamaha’s Hafizh Syahrin.
Luthi will race the Kalex machine in a presumably multi-year deal for German outfit Dynavolt Intact GP alongside Marcel Schrotter, replacing Xavi Vierge who is set to move to Marc VDS’ Moto2 outfit alongside Alex Marquez.
“MotoGP is still a dream come true for me – but circumstances have not made it easy for me in recent months,” said Luthi. “Now I am very happy that such a great door has opened for the next years. Dynavolt Intact GP is a strong, safe and well-organised team in which top performances are possible.
“I am looking forward to this next chapter and with the support of my partners, fans and family I am looking forward to give it all again next year in Moto2. My dream continues – and now I am once again fully focused on the second half of my MotoGP season.”
Team manager Jurgen Lingg said: “I think it’s great that Tom is coming to us. His MotoGP experience will definitely help him next year when a new chapter in Moto2 will open with Triumph engines and Marelli electronics.
“In addition, his many victories in the past show that he is a very good Moto2 rider. This is an optimal combination. He brings everything you need for this new class. We look forward to a common future and of course we will strive to provide him with the best possible package.”
It will be Luthi’s ninth Moto2 season after he joined the class in 2010 from the 250cc category. He has scored 11 wins and 33 podiums (outside victories) in the eight seasons and twice ended up second to Johann Zarco (2016) and Morbidelli (2017) in the standings.