MotoGP: Espargaro to Fill Crutchlow’s Vacancy on Tech 3 Yamaha
MotoGP Championship News
Back in May, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow revealed that Yamaha was talking with current Moto2 rider Pol Espargaro for a possible seat on the satellite team.
With Bradley Smith signed through 2014, and no hopes of getting on the factory team due to Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo filling the seats through 2014, Crutchlow would be left without a ride.
This caused some stirring in the MotoGP paddocks, and it was reported Thursday that Crutchlow had signed with Ducati for two years in MotoGP. Shortly after this announcement, Yamaha released its statement on who would fill the vacancy left by the Brit – Espargaro.
The 22-year-old Spaniard Espargaro will make his premier-class debut in 2014 MotoGP, and ride the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 through 2015.
Espargaro has been a top rider in Moto2, finishing second behind last year’s champion Marc Marquez, the current MotoGP Championship leader (Repsol Honda) following the first half of the season. This made Espargaro a favorite for the 2013 Moto2 title, and following the first half of the season, the Moto2 rider has five podiums and three wins, earning him second overall behind Scott Redding.
Following is a Pol Espargaro biography and racing career courtesy of Yamaha:
Born in Granollers (Spain) on 10th June 1991, Pol Espargaró made his World Championship debut in 2006, riding seven races in total, the first of which at Catalunya made him the youngest ever points scorer in a Grand Prix with 13th place. That year he was also crowned Spanish National 125 Champion, second youngest ever behind his brother Aleix.
Pol’s first full season in 2007 delivered a podium, a series of strong results and the Rookie of the Year award. The 2008 campaign was one which brought further impressive results but was also marked by a collarbone injury, he went on to take a first victory in 2009 at Indianapolis and place fourth overall in the standings.
In 2010, Pol Espargaró was involved in a three-way season-long battle for the title with eventual winner Marc Márquez and runner-up Nico Terol, and in 2011 he stepped up to Moto2.
Two podiums and a respectable 13th overall in the final standings laid the foundations for a promising season in 2012, for which Espargaró joined the Pons Racing team and made a huge impact.
Tough battles, four wins, eight pole positions and a few controversies led to him taking runner-up spot to Márquez, making him the favorite for the 2013 title, for which he will fight with the same team.
This year, after a complicated start of the season, he arrives at the middle second overall with three victories and five podium appearances.