Filling the void left behind by Ben Spies, who will be riding with the factory Yamaha squad in MotoGP next season, Cal Crutchlow has officially re-signed to a two-year contract with Yamaha, and will begin his MotoGP tenure with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. None of this news should be shocking to the MotoGP and WSBK loyal, as Crutchlow has been linked with a MotoGP/Tech3 seat for some time now.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager Hervé Poncharal revealed to Asphalt & Rubber back at Laguna Seca that Crutchlow was one of a few names on a very short list that could replace Ben Spies next season.With the Englishman seen repeatedly around the MotoGP paddock and meeting with Tech3 and Yamaha representatives, it was clear where Crutchlow would land, but the announcement is still a big one for Yamaha all the same.
Crutchlow will have a similar arrangement as Ben Spies, where his contract is with Yamaha, and not with a particular team. Presumably the deal was drawn-up under the same performance-based auspices, where if Crutchlow impresses the Japanese factory, he could be rewarded with a factory bike. It remains to be seen however if Crutchlow is the same prodigy as Spies, and if he’ll leave the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team in 2012.
Crutchlow is the reigning World Supersport Champion, although some wonder at how lofty a title that is when Yamaha used three times as many motors in the series than its competitors, with Crutchlow rumored to have used over 60 engines over the course of the season. The Englishman will have a lot to prove while in the Tech3 camp, but seems up for the challenge.
“It is hard for me to explain how excited I am about the prospect of riding in MotoGP next season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team,” said Crutchlow. “Joining MotoGP is like a dream come true for me, and I want to thank Yamaha and Herve Poncharal for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. Yamaha have been fantastic to me and without their incredible support I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
“And I’m really looking forward to working with the Tech 3 Team. They are a very professional team with a lot of experience and I’m sure they will be able to help me develop even more as a rider. I am under no illusions about how difficult this challenge will be. But I have always loved a challenge and I’m relishing this one. To think I will be racing against the likes of Valentino Rossi, who I grew up being a massive fan of, is a really ex citing prospect and I can’t wait for 2011.”
Source: Monster Yamaha Tech3