For the second year in a row, Spaniard Robert Batlle makes sweeping equipment changes to his race package, having already led the AKA Exodus and joined Italian firm Hot Race, Batlle now announced on Facebook the decision to leave Picco and switch engine brands.

“I would like to thank Alberto and all Picco crew for this amazing year, we achieved almost all goals we had so we have to be proud of it. However, I will not be Picco driver for this 2018. I hope you the best for the season as you have an awesome team. Again, thank you so much for this year as I learned a lot!”

It was no secret within the paddock of Batlle’s frustrations at times during the 2017 season, which saw multiple issues trouble the former World Champion, this wasn’t the case however at the European Championships in Sweden as Batlle collected a deserved 3rd title. Rumours linked him with Italian marque REDS, however we believe the Ninja-badged (Mugen Seiki) OS engine might be on the cards for 2018.