After the departure of Zulfahmi Khairuddin, SIC Racing Team have announced that WorldSSP rider Niki Tuuli will be the permanent replacement for the Malaysian, with the Finnish rider joining forces with the Moto2™ team at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France.
Tuuli burst onto the world scene back in 2016 when he participated in three of the final four WorldSSP races that year, taking second place in all of them. Those brilliant performances earned him a full-time ride in 2017, joining Vesa Kallio’s (brother to Mika Kallio) team. The Finn would go on to take two podiums and one pole position that year, finishing seventh in the Championship standings.
Tuuli currently sits eighth in this year’s World Supersport Championship after five races, and now moves across to the Grand Prix paddock for the first time.
“First of all, I want say thanks to SIC Racing Team for this opportunity. I’m really excited and looking forward to this upcoming challenge. Moto2 has been one of my dreams and now it’s a reality.”
The Finnish rider has plenty of experience on 600cc machines, something that may help Tuuli adapt to the Moto2™ bike quicker. “I’ve been riding 600cc bikes since 2012; the first six years with Yamaha and now this season I’ve been riding with Honda. Obviously Moto2 is different to Supersport but the SIC Racing Team is a good team with lots of experience, so with their help I believe I can adapt well to the Moto2 class.”
As well as a new bike, Tuuli will also have to learn a new track on his first weekend in the paddock, as Le Mans is a track he’s never raced on. “Everything will be new for me at Le Mans, the track, the bike and the team, so I need to go step by step. Now it’s not about any pressure, I just want to learn all the new things properly. Of course, I want to do the best result I can and perform as well as possible, but at the same time I need to be patient and focus on adapting to the Moto2 class every lap and every session.”