For 2011, Ben Spies will replace Valentino Rossi on the Fiat Yamaha M1, leaving his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha seat open. But on Sunday, Yamaha confirmed that Cal Crutchlow, currently riding on the Sterilgarda Yamaha World Supebike team, has signed a two-year contract starting next MotoGP season.
Crutchlow won the World Supersport Championship in his debut year of 2009; that year he had five wins and 10 pole positions.
Yamaha says Crutchlow has demonstrated his world-class pedigree again in 2010 after a series of blisteringly fast performances in World Superbikes on board Yamaha’s YZF-R1 machine.
Cal Crutchlow says: “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. 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.”
Herve Poncharal (team manager) says: “I am delighted that a rider of Cal’s calibre will ride for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. He has shown with his World Supersport success in 2009 and with a series of outstanding performances in World Superbikes this year what an exciting prospect he is for the future.”
“I think he is ready to test himself against the very best in the world and I’m really looking forward to working with him. He is a very talented rider and he has an unbelievable desire to succeed. Ben has proven this year that with talent, hard work and determination you can make a successful switch from World Superbikes to MotoGP. I have no doubt that Cal has the potential to emulate Ben’s success in the future. I am sure the combination of Cal, Yamaha and Tech 3 will be a strong one and I can’t wait to start this exciting new ad venture in our history.”