MotoGP silly season ramps up as Marc Marquez announces his stay with Honda whilst Pol Espargaro reveals new deal with KTM.
With the Catalan MotoGP race weekend looming, more contracts and being sealed amongst some of the sport’s top flight riders. 2016 is a landmark year for MotoGP for a number of reasons, one of which being the fact that many riders’ have their two-year contracts up for renewal with their respective teams this year.
The very latest from the paddock sees former world champion Marc Marquez and the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) announcing their renewed alliance. Marquez will be staying at the factory-backed Repsol Honda Teal alongside Dani Pedrosa for another two seasons lasting through the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
With his sensational performance of late despite the technical struggles Honda faces with the new spec electronics package in its RC213V machine, it was only right that the Japanese racing giant opted to keep Marquez a little longer.
Next comes the confirmation from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team that its leading Spanish rider, Pol Espargaro, is leaving the team by season’s end. Shortly after the team’s announcement, Pol Espargaro’s representative made the timely announcement to reveal that he has signed a two-year deal with KTM.
Pol’s departure from the satellite Yamaha team also signals the end of his riding contract directly with Yamaha Racing. He joins British rider Bradley Smith, who is also his current teammate in the satellite Yamaha garage, in the factory-backed KTM MotoGP team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Pol Espargaro’s move to the KTM MotoGP team has been rumoured for sometime. The Austrian manufacturer is making its debut in MotoGP next season and is understandably in need of riders that are both fast and technically minded.
KTM’s motorsports director Pit Beirer states: “We’re more than happy that we’re now able to sign Pol Espargaro as a young rider of form and with MotoGP experience for this dynamic project. Both Pol and Bradley are well suited to KTM.”
With both Pol and Bradley’s exit, the vacant seats at the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team have become highly sought after. Rumours currently suggest that defending Moto2 champion Johann Zarco is vying for the seat left vacant by Spaniard Pol. Fuelling the Frenchman’s cause is the interest Tech 3 team founder and fellow compatriot Hervé Poncharal reportedly holds in him.