The Spanish teenager made his Moto2™ debut in 2021 and will now compete in the Grand Prix paddock full-time after four full seasons inside the WorldSBK paddock
After claiming the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship title in 2019 and a stellar two seasons in the FIM Supersport World Championship, Spanish rider Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) will make the switch to Moto2™ for the 2022 campaign. He will link up with the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team, making their debut in the Moto2™ World Championship, for next season alongside Keminth Kubo.
Gonzalez made his WorldSSP300 debut as a wildcard rider in 2017 before making the full-time switch for 2018 after winning the European Talent Cup title. The 19-year-old claimed three podiums in his first full campaign in 2018 on his way to sixth in the standings before the title followed a year later at just 17 years old: the youngest FIM Road Racing World Champion ever.
A move to WorldSSP followed for the World Champion in 2020 in a heavily-disrupted campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gonzalez continued to impress as he finished inside the top ten in all 15 races in his maiden campaign, securing a best result of sixth, as he finished seventh in the standings. For 2021, Gonzalez and the ParkinGo Team switched to Yamaha machinery with the Spaniard taking yet another step forward as he became a regular top-six finisher and podium contender. His run of points from his first race at Phillip Island in 2020 to Race 2 at the Most Autodrom meant he equalled the longest-ever run of points-scoring finishes in WorldSSP at 25 races, with Gonzalez not able to break it following a crash at Navarra. His first WorldSSP victory at Magny-Cours in Race 2 before he backed that up with victory in Barcelona, while he has also recorded five further podiums on top of his two victories.
At the Dutch Grand Prix at TT Circuit Assen in 2021, Gonzalez was given a late call-up to replace Lorenzo Baldassarri at MV Agusta Forward Racing. Gonzalez’s call-up was so late he missed FP1 and his first experience of Moto2™ machinery was in a wet FP2, with the Spanish rider continually improving throughout the race. Gonzalez received another call-up for the same outfit for the Aragon Grand Prix in September, claiming 17th place and only around five seconds away from the points. Following this, he will make the switch to Moto2™ full time in 2022 with the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp.
Discussing his move to Moto2™, Gonzalez thanks the Rovelli family who run the Yamaha ParkinGo outfit: “I‘m very happy for this new project and the great opportunity that I have received. It will be a big step for my career, where I will learn a lot and have fun. I will give the maximum to grow in this world. A big thank you' to Yamaha and VR46 for believing in me. And of course, many thanks to the Rovelli family for all their support.”
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