Cal Crutchlow has ended the speculation surrounding his future by signing a one-year extension to his contract at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Rumours had been growing of a possible return to World Superbikes but this morning’s news confirms the first all-British MotoGP rider line-up for eight years with Crutchlow partnering Bradley Smith.
Although he has voiced the opinion that he needs a factory bike to challenge for the championship, Crutchlow is keen to repay the loyalty shown to him by the Tech 3 squad by staying together for another season at least.
“I am delighted to commit my future to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team for at least one more year. Together we have made huge progress this season and achieved some strong results and I am confident we can be even more competitive in 2013. Yamaha and Monster have been very loyal to me over a long period of time and they both made it clear how much they wanted to keep me for next year. That was incredibly flattering and I really appreciate their support. Next year will be my fifth with Yamaha and I am excited to continue my MotoGP career with them. My relationship with Tech 3 also played a big part in my decision. Herve Poncharal and all my crew have given me unbelievable backing since I joined in 2011. Yamaha put together a great package for 2012 and next year it will be even stronger. Hopefully I can reward their loyalty by challenging for the podium throughout 2013, which I know we are capable of.”
Crutchlow will be expected to lead the team in 2013 as his rookie teammate makes his bow in the premier class. Bradley Smith is currently in his second season with the Tech 3 Moto2 squad and has three podium finishes to his name, although 2012 has been more of a struggle as the team battle to improve the competitiveness of their chassis.
Smith acknowledges the size of the challenge facing him but can’t wait to get started when he first samples a 1000cc bike at Valencia in November.
“It is an honour for me to get the opportunity to move to MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. I have dreamed about being a MotoGP rider for as long as I can remember and to get this chance with such a professional and successful team is fantastic. It is clear from the results achieved by Cal and Andrea (Dovizioso) in 2012 that together Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster is a very competitive package and I can’t wait to begin this new adventure in my career. I know I have a huge challenge ahead of me but I believe in my ability and I am grateful to Herve Poncharal, Yamaha and Monster for showing a lot of confidence in me to offer me this chance. I already know the Tech 3 Team so it won’t be such a huge transition for me and I have a good relationship with Cal. This will be very important because I can learn a lot from him. I am now looking forward to finishing the season strongly in Moto2 for Tech 3 Racing before I get my first chance to ride a YZR-M1 machine in Valencia.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal is delighted to confirm what he believes is “the strongest line-up he could’ve put together” and hopes to build on a strong 2012 for the team.
“I am really happy to confirm that Cal and Bradley will be with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in 2013. Cal has done an amazing job this season and I am convinced that he is only going to continue to improve. He is a fast rider but also a big personality and we were determined to keep him with us for next season. We know there was a lot of interest in him, so for us to capture his signature is a big positive. Bradley has demonstrated his high potential in Moto2 and I have every confidence in him that he will be competitive in MotoGP. Of course he faces a very difficult challenge because the level now in MotoGP is incredible. But he has a great attitude and a big desire to make this new chapter in his career a successful one. What I can assure him is that Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster will give him 100% support to help him show his potential. I have no doubt this is the strongest line-up we could have put together for next season and we can look ahead to 2013 with high expectations.”