Stefano Nepa will replace Makar Yurchenko at CIP Green Power with immediate effect.
The shock decision was announced late this afternoon via the team’s Facebook page but no reason behind the sudden departure of Yurchenko has been given. Nepa will join Scot John McPhee for the remainder of the 2018 season after impressing in both the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior Championship and the CIV where he has just won two rounds at Imola, setting the track record.
The 16-year-old Italian briefly made his Moto3 debut in as a wildcard entry for NRT Junior in Mugello earlier in the season but, unfortunately, he was unable to finish the race. His fleeting appearance in the Moto3 class obviously did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm and confidence team owner Alain BRONEC had in the young rider, stating in the press release: “Stefano is a very promising rider, in whom the Italian Motorcycle Federation believes as much as I do. He currently rides a KTM, that should help him adjust to our team, even if his GP debut will require a lot of work on his part. We aim for him to improve throughout races and rank in the Top 10 by the end of the season. His arrival is part of a long-term project, since we already hope we’ll be able to keep him in our team for the 2019 season.”
No word on Yuchenko’s next career move has been announced but the Kazakhstani rookie was showing major promise as he sat 24th in the standings with nine points to his name. He had briefly made waves at the start of the season after an incident in Argentina with then championship contender Aron Canet when the Spaniard saw red after a free practice incident saw Yurchenko block Canet during a fast lap, causing him to abort it.
No matter what the next move for Yurchenko or how Nepa’s season goes, we wish them both the best of luck.