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Andrew Pitt signs with Moriwaki

Andrew Pitt signs with Moriwaki

Andrew Pitt signs with Moriwaki

Andrew Pitt has signed a one year deal to take part in the Moriwaki Racing project as a test rider, with the possibility of several MotoGP appearances as a wildcard during the season. The Australian, who was controversially dropped by Kawasaki at the end of the 2003 season, revealed his relief at clinching the deal after contemplating a season on the sidelines.

"Contrary to some media reports I had no offers on the table from other championships," explained the former World Supersport Champion, who was linked with a return to the production series. "Time was running out and I was very happy to get the phone call from Midori Moriwaki inviting me to Japan to discuss terms. All I can say is thanks to them for thinking of me."

On his departure from Kawasaki, Pitt commented: "Obviously you can't be too happy when you are told you are on the bike, have no reason to believe otherwise, and are then told you're out. I don't think it was handled very well at all and I am disappointed with them. But that is in the past now and I am looking forward to this new opportunity with Moriwaki."

Pitt tested the MD211VF for the first time at Sepang on Tuesday and was impressed with its performance, particularly its Honda RC211V engine. "It's definitely got the right engine, put it that way," he smiled. "It is amazing how smooth it is – you don't feel huge bursts of power. In fact, you almost feel as though you are going slow, although obviously you are not! The idea is to develop the chassis but already it is easy to move around and the bike is quite compact. We also have to develop the Dunlop tyres but overall the machine has plenty of potential and so far I am definitely enjoying it."

Mamoru Moriwaki, leader of the MotoGP project, commented: "We are very happy to have Andrew on board and we would like to thank him for choosing our team. Now we can begin to show the true potential of our bike. Today we used the same bike we developed for the race at Motegi in October but on Wednesday we will use our brand new version. We are looking forward to developing it and taking it forward with Andrew."

MotoGP, 2003

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