MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow to Ducati Corse

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After months of intrigue as to where the British rider would land for the 2014 MotoGP Championship, Cal Crutchlow has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Ducati Corse.

Taking the seat of the departing Nicky Hayden, Cal Crutchlow has finally bagged the factory position that he has been adamant about for the past season and a half. The official announcement is expected Friday of this week.

In making his switch to Ducati Corse, Crutchlow has turned down a lucrative offer from Yamaha Racing, which would have seen the Brit on Yamaha’s payroll, with a significant pay increase over his current contract.

That catch to that deal though is that Crutchlow would have had to remain in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 garage, as the factory Yamaha team is full-booked with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi through the 2014 season.

With Yamaha unable to give Crutchlow the assurances of factory support that were so important to Cal, as well as a clear path of succession into the factory-back team, the 27-year-old rider ultimately declined on Yamaha’s final contract offer.

While Crutchlow will test his fate in the Ducati Corse camp, as so many before him have done, Pol Espargaro is expected to make the switch from Moto2 to MotoGP next season, and will take Crutchlow’s place in the Monster Yamaha Tech garage, alongside fellow Moto2 convert Bradley Smith.

Source: BBC & MCN; Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0