In light of recent speculation regarding next year’s Monster Tech3 Yamaha line-up, motogp.com asked team boss, Herve Poncharal about Cal Crutchlow’s current situation with the team. Rumours have been flying
|Poncharal is unsure who will be in
his team next year…
Photo: Tech 3 Racing
about that Moto2 title contender, Pol Espargaró has been agreeing terms with Yamaha for a factory supported ride next year at Tech3. Espargaró was runner up in last year’s Moto2 World Championship,
behind Marquez; he is also a championship favourite this season. Some believe Espargaró is ‘the one’ to take the fight to Marquez in the future, that he is possibly the next ‘Alien’.
Honda have Marquez, so naturally, fingers point at Yamaha aiming for the younger of the Espargaró brothers. Rossi, Lorenzo and Britain’s Bradley Smith all have 2 year contracts with the Japanese manufacturer, so should Espargaro be brought on board it’s likely at the expense of Cal Crutchlow, as he is on a one year contract. In a recent interview with Autosport.com, Crutchlow commented on the hype surrounding Espargaró and his links with the Brits’ current ride: “Would he (Espargaro) beat me? No.”
Poncharal went on to comment: “He is one of the most talented young riders in Moto2. Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith have already made the jump to MotoGP and so that would also be a logical step for him next year. The road to Honda is closed because they have four riders under contract until the end of 2014: two at Repsol Honda, one at Gresini and one at LCR. If Espargaro does want to compete in MotoGP next year, he will obviously have to do it with another marque and so it is obvious that he is in talks with Yamaha. I do not know the depth of those conversations; whether something has been agreed, is almost agreed or whether there is still a lot to sort out. What I do know is that Yamaha has four bikes and, when Cal Crutchlow is the only rider who is contracted only for this year, some think Espargaro could take his place. The current situation is that we are in May, that I have a contract with Cal for 2013 and that Yamaha has opened up some negotiations – nothing more than that. I love Cal and will be keeping him informed of what I know, simply to allow him as much time as possible to remain attractive on the rider market – whether that will be to stay at Yamaha or to go somewhere else.”
Official news regarding Tech3’s future with Crutchlow and Espargaró probably won’t come to light for a few months yet. If Espargaró does bag the Tech3 ride, there will be other options for Crutchlow in MotoGP. The Brit also expressed in the Autosport interview that he will be once again looking for a factory ride next year. Rumours that Suzuki are returning in 2014 are gathering more pace by the week and there is also another possibility with Ducati, as Hayden’s contract runs out at the end of this year.
Full interviews with both Crutchlow and Poncharal can be accessed via the links.