With Cal Crutchlow now confirmed to go to Ducati Corse (the team’s press release came in this morning), Pol Espargaro is now free to replace the Briton at the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 satellite MotoGP team.
Signing a two-year contract with Yamaha Racing, Espargaro will move up from Moto2 into the premier-class, and will campaign a Yamaha YZR-M1 alongside former Moto2 rider Bradley Smith.
Investing in the 22-year-old, the contract with Espargaro marks a clear signal from Yamaha Racing to develop young talent in the MotoGP series through the Tech 3 satellite team, and to have an ongoing chain of top riders on its factory teams for the considerable future.
The news also deals an end to the speculation about the Tech 3 team’s rider line-up, as Crutchlow, Smith, and Espargaro have been engaged in a game of musical chairs thru media reports. The terse announcement from Yamaha Racing is after the jump, along with the more lengthy press release from Tech 3.
YAMAHA ANNOUNCES TWO YEAR MOTOGP PROGRAM WITH POL ESPARGARÓ
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd is delighted to be able to announce that it has concluded a two-year agreement with current Spanish Moto2 rider Pol Espargaró. As a result of this contract the 22-year-old will make his MotoGP debut in 2014 with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and will ride the Yamaha YZR-M1.
Pol Espargaró is enjoying his third season as a key protagonist in the Moto2 Class and is currently lying second in the Championship standings.
Smith and Espargaro form young and talented Monster Yamaha Tech 3 line-up for 2014
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to confirm that Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will form a young and exciting line-up for the French-based squad in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.
British rider Smith has shown tremendous pace and promise in his rookie MotoGP campaign in 2013 and at the halfway stage of the season is only 32-points outside of the top six in the overall rankings.
Smith has adapted quickly to Yamaha’s prototype YZR-M1 machine and he has scored six top 10 finishes in nine races so far, including impressive rides into the top six in Catalunya and Sachsenring.
The 22-year-old has demonstrated great professionalism and willingness to learn in the initial stage of his MotoGP career and theMonster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is looking forward to helping Smith progress and follow in the footsteps of compatriot Cal Crutchlow, who has established himself as a consistent podium challenger under the guidance of Herve Poncharal’s squad.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is also thrilled to welcome highly rated Spaniard Espargaro for 2014. The 22-year-old is currently showing why he has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in the World Championship, with three victories in eight races keeping him firmly in the hunt for the 2013 Moto2 crown.
Espargaro made his World Championship debut in the 125cc category at his home round in Barcelona back in 2006 and he has gone onto to win 12 races and claim 27 other podium finishes.
Immensely popular as well as fast, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is looking forward to helping Espargaro showcase his skills on the biggest stage in world motorcycle racing next season.
Today’s announcement further reaffirms the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad’s commitment to developing and nurturing fast talent in MotoGP.
Source: Yamaha Racing; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved