2005 125cc World Champion Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) has announced he'll retire at the end of 2021. The Swiss veteran sits behind only Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi and Andrea Dovizioso with an incredible 311 Grands Prix starts over a career spanning 20 seasons. In 2022, he will take on the role of PrüstelGP's Sporting Director, assisting in their Moto3™ and Junior Moto3™ World Championship efforts, as well as managing Swiss talent Noah Dettwiler.
Lüthi’s first full World Championship season in 2003 saw him take a podium at Catalunya, but 2004 was a season marred by crashes and injuries as he placed 25th overall. In 2005, he bounced back in phenomenal style, winning four races and taking eight podiums to secure the 125cc World Championship title. Moving to the 250cc World Championship in 2007, Lüthi then remained in the intermediate class in the new Moto2™ World Championship in 2010, placing fourth.
A tough crash in 2013 and after a longer period of recovery, Lüthi fought back towards the top and for 2015 switched to a Kalex within a restructured Derendinger Racing Interwetten set-up. The Swiss rider remained with the team in 2016, emerging as a dark horse for the title towards the end of the year when he took two wins in a row for the first time in his career. He finished the year second in the title and aimed to go one better in 2017 – looking set to challenge Franco Morbidelli until the end of the season before a crash at the Malaysian GP saw him unable to compete in the remainder of the season.
Luthi made the step up to MotoGP™ for 2018 with EG 0,0 Marc VDS, but after a difficult rookie season, the Swiss rider returned to the intermediate class. He returned with a bang in 2019, though, claiming eight podiums – including victory in America – on his way to P3 in the Championship.
The 34-year-old has claimed an incredible 65 Grand Prix podiums, a record 53 in the Moto2™ class, and has 17 victories to his name across ten different circuits. Next year, Lüthi will work alongside Florian Prüstel in a new role aimed at helping to nurture future stars from Germany, Switzerland and beyond.
Tom Lüthi: "My decision that I will end my active career as a professional rider is of course made a lot easier by this opportunity of my involvement as Sports Director at PrüstelGP. I am very much looking forward to being able to contribute to sporting success in a new role. To be able to pass on my experience and to work together with young talents, but also with already very strong riders in the Moto3 World Championship is an exciting new challenge. I am sure that the PrüstelGP team and I will complement each other perfectly - the whole project is a synergy that could hardly be better. I'm looking forward to our joint successes and development."
Florian Prüstel, Team Manager: "I have been looking for a long time for someone who, as an authentic, experienced expert, can take care of our riders, coordinate their training, accompany them and support them on their way to the top. Thanks to the collaboration with Tom, we have all of this perfectly covered. With his 19 years of world championship experience, he knows exactly what is important in racing - especially at the beginning of a career, when you first have to get used to the big, not always easy world of international racing. I'm also looking forward to being able to give our partners even more exciting insights into the fascinating world of racing and to having an expert at our side, who can provide such impressions from a completely different perspective. Together, we have thus created a base that gives us the know-how and skills it takes to get to the title."