Motorcycle racing paddocks have never been good at keeping secrets, but this year seems to be particularly bad. As predicted by MotoMatters.com on Thursday, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team have confirmed that Cal Crutchlow will be riding their MotoGP bike next year. Crutchlow and Tech 3 have agreed a two-year deal for 2011 and 2012, giving Crutchlow a chance to get accustomed to MotoGP machinery without the immediate pressure to perform. The switch back to 1000cc for 2012 should also make Crutchlow's job in his second year a little bit easier, the bikes expected to be a little more like the Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike he has raced this season.
Below is the press release from Tech 3:
Cal Crutchlow joins Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is delighted to announce the signing of British rider Cal Crutchlow to contest the MotoGP world championship for the next two years.
Crutchlow will extend his successful collaboration with Yamaha having won the World Supersport championship at the first attempt in 2009 with five victories and ten pole positions.
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.
He has claimed five pole positions so far in 2010 but the highlight of his impressive campaign was undoubtedly a majestic doub le victory in his home race at Silverstone in early August.
"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
"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."