KUALA LUMPUR: After much speculation over the past week, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) have confirmed that Finn Niki Tuuli has been signed as a replacement for Zulfahmi Khairuddin in Moto2 for the SIC Racing Team.
The 22-year-old will be making his debut for SIC Racing at the French Motorcycle Grand Prix at Le Mans this weekend.
While Tuuli is a newcomer to Moto2, he has vast experience riding 600cc bikes having competed in the class since 2012 in the IDM Yamaha Cup (2012), European SuperStock 600 (2013-2015) and SuperSport World Championship (2016-2018).
He joins from SuperSport outfit CIA Landlord Insurance Honda with whom he has raced with for five rounds this season.
Tuuli is hoping to adapt to the Kalex chassis used in the series as soon as possible.
"I want to thank SIC Racing Team for this opportunity. I am really excited and looking forward to this challenge. Moto2 has been one of my dreams and now it has become a reality,” said the Imatra-born rider.
"I’ve been riding 600cc bikes since 2012; the first six years with Yamaha and this season with Honda.
"Obviously, Moto2 is different to Supersport but the SIC Racing Team are a good team with lots of experience, so with their help I believe I can adapt well to the Moto2 class.
"Everything will be new for me at Le Mans, the track, the bike and the team, so I need to go step by step."
SIC Racing Team manager Johan Stigefelt is expecting Tuuli to take a few races to settle into Moto2 but expressed his confidence in his potential.
Zulfahmi, who was signed as a late replacement for Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah, last week announced that he would be parting ways with the team after a tough start to the season.
He will resume his duties as head of SIC's Impian ke MotoGP talent development programme.