Elf Marc VDS Racing Team launch 2024 Moto2 and WorldSBK challenge
The magnificent Château de Modave in Belgium was the spectacular venue for the official presentation of the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s exciting 2024 plans today as the squad gears up to fight for glory in Moto2 and WorldSBK this season.
- The launch included the unveiling of the instantly recognisable Elf Marc VDS Racing Team livery and was attended by the entire squad alongside main sponsors and key partners.
- A proud participant in Moto2 since its introduction in 2010, Marc van der Straten is thrilled to enter his multiple title winning team in the Triumph-powered class for a 15th successive season. Runner-up in 2023 with rising star Tony Arbolino, the Italian will spearhead the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team challenge with new arrival Filip Salac on Kalex machinery.
- Arbolino’s bid to join Tito Rabat, Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez as Moto2 title winners with Marc VDS will be led by crew chief Lucio Nicastro. Miguel Angel Arias will oversee data, with Aleix Piñol and Ben Doe his mechanics.
- Elf Marc VDS Racing is delighted to join forces with highly rated Czech Republic rider Salac, who will be helped in his bid for success in 2024 by experienced crew chief Gilles Bigot. Data and telemetry responsbility goes to Adriá Pérez with mechanics Steven Bradley and Anthony Couturier completing Salac’s side of the garage. Ignacio Lorenzana is responsible for tyres and fuel for both Arbolino and Salac.
- The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team will write a new chapter in its successful history in 2024 with an ambitious expansion to compete in the WorldSBK Championship for the first time. Xavi Angulo will oversee tyres and fuel.
- A familiar face will lead the team’s quest for success in WorldSBK, with Sam Lowes moving from Moto2 to ride a Ducati Panigale V4 R machine. After a 10-season stint in the Grand Prix arena of which the last four were spent as an integral part of the Elf Marc VDS Racing squad, Lowes returns to the WorldSBK paddock where he was crowned Supersport World Champion back in 2013.
- The British rider’s squad will be led by crew chief Giovanni Crupi. Stefano Guidi will be in charge of telemetry with Carmine Oliva, Marco Pascucci and Nicolas Guichard his mechanics.
/// MARC VAN DER STRATEN, Team Owner
“January 15th, 2024, is always going to be a memorable date for me”
“January 15th, 2024, is always going to be a memorable date for me, as today we present our Moto2 team and the Elf Marc VDS Racing family grows with the arrival of our new WorldSBK team. It was really beautiful and motivating to see our three machines with their talented riders on stage, and to know that they’re going to give their all to achieve the objectives set. In Moto2, with Tony Arbolino and Filip Salac, we’ll be continuing our quest for victories and podiums to try and win the World Championship. In the WorldSBK Championship, we face a big and exciting new challenge. Although we’re just starting out, we’re very well prepared and supported by the brilliant talent of Sam Lowes and the technical quality of Ducati. We know together we can make big things happen. Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to all our friends and partners who continue to support our projects and share our great passion season after season. Let’s enjoy a great 2024 together.”
/// SAM LOWES, WorldSBK Rider
“I’m very happy and motivated to start”
“I’m very happy and proud to continue working with this great team and to be riding for Marc once again. It’s a big new challenge for me to change category after a long time and I’m very happy and motivated to start. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Marc for asking me to be the first rider for his team in WorldSBK. The bike is beautiful and it’s an amazing feeling to ride a Ducati. The livery is fantastic and it’s so special to represent Marc and this team in WorldSBK. I’m really excited to continue working with my new crew chief Giovanni to progress my understanding of the bike. I just need to learn the bike, tyres, and format over a race weekend with the three races. The first goal in the tests will be to make the bike mine and feel comfortable. I just need laps and mileage on the bike to understand many things. But this will come and if we had to go racing today, I feel we could do a good job. The goal though is to fight at the front. I hope to be in the fight for podiums and wins and to learn a lot. Also being top Independent rider has to be a target.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, Moto2 rider
“My only focus is on giving them back a big present in 2024: to be fighting for the title from the first to the last race”
“I’m super happy to be getting ready for my third year in this amazing family. I appreciate so much the opportunity that Marc has given me and I share his commitment to winning. The support I get to help me perform on track is incredible and it always gives me a great boost in every single race. My only focus is on giving them back a big present in 2024 and that is to be fighting for the title from the first to the last race. I’ve already had some big chats with my crew and we know where we can improve to be stronger this year. It’s going to be an interesting year ahead with the change to Pirelli tyres and I think that is going to change the dynamics of races quite a lot. This will require a new approach but I’m ready for this new challenge and ready to bring the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team back to the top again in Moto2. It’s great to have Filip with me as well and I hope he can show his talent and can push me a lot because that is also good motivation when you have a fast and competitive teammate. The goal is to be fast and consistent for the whole season and to fight for the win every weekend. We have the weapons to do it, so it will come down to hard work and being as best prepared as we can be to get the job done.”
/// FILIP SALAC, Moto2 Rider
“The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team is the perfect place for me to accomplish my goals”
“It is an honour to be asked to ride for this great team and it makes me feel very proud to have reached a part of my career where a project of this stature trusts me to come in and be successful. The livery is so famous in the paddock, and I feel privileged to be wearing it in 2024. I’m very grateful to Marc and everyone connected to the squad for helping me on this new journey in my career. I wanted the opportunity to fight for the best results possible and the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team is the perfect place for me to accomplish my goals. I have a two-year contract which immediately takes a bit of pressure off and with time I’m sure I can grow into becoming the rider I know I can be. I feel this is a family team and they are all pushing in the same direction to fight for the victory and that helps the rider a lot. My goal is to be finishing inside the top five every weekend, fight for the podium and also win some races. And I want to work with Tony to win the Team Championship, which is also a very important target. I have a great relationship with Tony, and we know how much talent and speed he has. And I’m sure sharing the box with him will only help me improve.”
/// PIERRE-GAUTIER CALONI, VP Motorsport at TotalEnergies Marketing Services
“2024 marks a new stage in our historic partnership”
“2024 marks a new stage in our historic partnership with the Marc VDS Racing Team. Having achieved great success together in Moto2 and MotoGP since 2010, with 46 victories and three Riders’ World Championship titles, we are proud to accompany Marc and his team in this new challenge represented by the World Superbike Championship, while continuing the adventure of the ELF Marc VDS team in Moto2. We share the same values and passion as Marc. The ELF brand is therefore proud to be the title sponsor of the Marc VDS Racing Team for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship, as well as for the 2024 Moto2 World Championship.”
/// MARCO ZAMBENEDETTI, Ducati SBK Project Management Responsible
“Their excellent results and their commitment to excellence make this team an ideal partner”
“It’s a huge pleasure that the name of Ducati shines together with the Marc VDS Racing family. Their three world titles in Moto2, their excellent results over more than a decade and, above all, their commitment to excellence, make this team an ideal partner. In addition, we are delighted that Sam Lowes will be at the controls of our Ducati Panigale V4 R Superbike. Ducati will do all it can to help him show his speed and talent and we are convinced that his experience will also make us grow. Finally, I would like to thank Marc van der Straten and the team for the trust placed in Ducati to accompany them in this new WorldSBK adventure. I am sure it will be an exciting season for everyone.”