Josh Herrin out at AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team

AMA Superbike champion suffers dismal season in Moto2 class, released before year is finished

josh herrin sacked airasia caterham moto2
Herrin, British Moto2 2014Gareth Harford

In the midst of a dismal 2014 season where he was not able to score a single World Championship point, the AirAsia Caterham Moto2 team announced today that it has released 2013 AMA Superbike champion Josh Herrin, and has named Ratthapark Wilairot as his replacement.

The 24-year-old Herrin was thrown in the deep end when he signed up to race in the Moto2 category. Not only was it his first time seeing all of the racing circuits on the calendar, but he had to learn to ride a 600 all over again after spending two years learning how to ride a superbike. "That’s the hardest part," admitted Herrin back at the second Sepang pre-season test in March. "I had to learn to ride a 1000, now I have to learn to go back. It’s kind of difficult, you throw a new team, new bike, new tracks, new adventure traveling the world, and then having to learn to ride this bike is difficult for sure." And then there was the competitiveness of the entire Moto2 field. "But the competition is the biggest step. If you take the top guy from the AMA and put him here, that’s everybody in the whole field. One or two seconds is the whole field, so it’s really hard to be at the front all the time, so that’s the biggest difference. If you take the top rider in any series, that’s what it is here. But there’s one from each series; you have the Spanish series, the Italian, American, the World Supersport, World Superbike. There’s a lot of different guys, and then guys of course that grew up riding 125s coming up to Moto2. It’s a very high level of riders."

Herrin's best finish was a 16th place at Catalunya, but his bigger issue was qualifying; his best qualifying performance was 23rd at Indianapolis.

Johan Stigefelt, Caterham’s Moto2 Team Manager, said in the team's press release, “We have decided to replace Josh with Ratthapark. It was not an easy decision but it was necessary in order to try to bring better results on that side of the garage.”

“We are here to be competitive with two riders and the expectations were made clear from the start of the season. Unfortunately these goals have not been met, despite our best efforts and support to Josh.”

“We wish Josh all the best for the future and at the same time welcome Ratthapark to our team. I am happy that Ratthapark is joining us as we know he has the ability to battle for the points and can help us to gain good results, so let’s now see how we can improve for the final six races of the season.”

Thai rider Wilairot is actually a Grand Prix veteran, with the 26-year-old making his debut in the 250cc GP class back in 2006. He substituted for Herrin at Jerez this year, finishing 19th.