The First Piece Of The Puzzle - Pol Espargaro To Remain At Tech 3 Yamaha For 2016

The first part of MotoGP's truncated silly season has fallen into place. As expected, Yamaha today announced that they have extended their deal with Pol Espargaro for another year. Espargaro will race a factory-backed Yamaha M1 with the Monster Tech 3 M1 season in 2016.

The news had been widely trailed, and is a sensible choice for the Spaniard. Though Espargaro is rumored to be taking a significant pay cut for next season, signing a one-year deal puts him in step with the factory riders, whose contracts are all up for renewal at the end of 2016. It means that he will be in a position to take advantage of any openings which arise in a factory squad.

The next move expected is for Bradley Smith to renew with Tech 3. Smith has his contract directly with the team, rather than with Yamaha like Pol Espargaro, and has been stuck in talks with the team for some time now. Current paddock opinion expects a deal to be announced soon, either this weekend or perhaps at Brno.

Below are the press releases issued by both Tech 3 and Yamaha:


Pol Espargaro reconfirmed to remain with Monster Yamaha Tech3 for 2016

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team is delighted to announce that current rider and 2013 Moto2 World Champion Pol Espargaro will remain with the team for next season aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike. The Spanish star will be contracted to Yamaha once again and will ride in Tech3 colours in what will be his third year of MotoGP. Espargaro, who clinched the leading satellite MotoGP bike title in his first season in the premier class, has produced some notable performances including qualifying in second position at the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans last year. In addition, he has determinedly finished in fifth place twice this season in the fiercely competitive class. Furthermore, the 24 year old further highlighted his potential by storming to the race victory at the legendary Suzuka 8 Hour race as well as setting the pole position time and shattering the lap record. Espargaro will now continue his relentless battle to fight as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes for the rest of this year and in 2016.

Pol Espargaro

"I’m happy, because renewing my contract with a factory like Yamaha is always going to be fantastic. Yamaha gave me the opportunity to make my debut in MotoGP and together, I think we had a really good first season. This year we are working hard to improve our results that have not been as strong as we would have liked at this point of the year. However, next season there will be some important changes in the category, such as the alterations to the technical regulations and especially, the changing of the tyre supplier. From my point of view, the less you change with regards to the team and the bike, the easier it will be to adapt to all of this. Despite some tricky moments this year, I know the bike and I know I can continue to work well together with Yamaha and Tech3 in order to achieve our goals. This announcement is also fantastic following the success at Suzuka, where we undertook some really good work together that concluded in the victory which was great for Yamaha and also for my confidence. Therefore, I hope that this result and the renewal of my contract will help me for the nine races that we still have left in 2015, which is the most important thing for me to focus on right now."

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"I am obviously more than delighted to announce that Pol Espargaro is going to remain with us for a third year in MotoGP. We have had an incredible two seasons together and for me personally, it is like Pol has been here forever and certainly is a big part of our team. We love him and I really hope that next year he can show his true potential and get as close as possible to the top of the MotoGP World. Now, we hope that we can have a strong second half to 2015 in order to prepare for next season, which will be a key year for him and all of us. It goes without saying that we are very happy and proud that Pol will race in the Monster Yamaha Tech3 colours for one more year.”


Yamaha Announces Continuation of Contract with Pol Espargaró for 2016

Indianapolis (USA), 7th August 2015

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. confirms the extension of its Agreement with MotoGP rider Pol Espargaró for a further 1 year. As a result of this Agreement the 24-year-old will continue his MotoGP career for another year with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Espargaró joined the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team for his rookie season in the premier class in 2014, following his championship victory in the Moto2 class the year before. He immediately adapted to the MotoGP class achieving sixth position in the championship to claim the accolade of ’Rookie of the Year‘ as well as ’Top Satellite MotoGP Rider‘.

Espargarò currently stands 9th in the 2015 championship.

In addition to the MotoGP program Espargarò recently teamed up with teammate Bradley Smith and Katsuyuki Nakasuga to win the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race and give Yamaha its 5th victory in the history of this prestigious event.

Lin Jarvis

Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing

"I am very pleased that Pol will remain with Yamaha for next season. Pol is one of the pool of very talented young riders that will surely have a big future in the MotoGP class in years to come. His 2014 debut season was very strong and he achieved 6th place at the end of the year behind the riders of the Factory Teams. He has faced many difficulties in the first half of 2015 but we are still convinced that he has a big potential and remains one of the most exciting, young talents for the future. With his plans for next season now confirmed he can focus on putting together a strong second half of the 2015 championship with more to come next year."

Pol Espargarò

MotoGP Rider

“I‘m happy because renewing my contract with a factory like Yamaha is always going to be fantastic. Yamaha gave me the opportunity to make my debut in MotoGP and together, I think we had a really good first season. This year we are working hard to improve our results that have not been as strong as we would have liked at this point of the year. However, next season there will be some important changes in the category, such as the alterations to the technical regulations and especially, the changing of the tyre supplier. From my point of view, the less you change with regards to the team and the bike, the easier it will be to adapt to all of this. Despite some tricky moments this year, I know the bike and I know I can continue to work well together with Yamaha and Tech3 in order to achieve our goals. This announcement is also fantastic following the success at Suzuka, where we undertook some really good work together that concluded in the victory which was great for Yamaha and also for my confidence. Therefore, I hope that this result and the renewal of my contract will help me for the nine races that we still have left in 2015, which is the most important thing for me to focus on right now.”

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Comments

Can't understand what Yamaha thinks they're going to get out of Pol... they should be running after Zarco in my mind since he's a smooth corner speed oriented rider.

Total votes: 64

What's more, Espargaro has two years of experience on a MotoGP bike. There is not a lot of point for Yamaha taking Zarco over Espargaro. I expect them to either make a move for Alex Rins or Maverick Viñales for 2017. Pol Espargaro is probably just treading water.

Total votes: 68

I doubt age is factoring into this as Zarco is only 1 year older than Pol.

Yamaha (Jarvis) thought Pol was the golden child and rather stick it out than admit it was a mistake.

Total votes: 74

He is only one year older, but he also has two years less experience. So in total, he has a three year deficit on Espargaro. Factories are looking at riders who are 21, 22, not riders who are 25, 26. This is also Tito Rabat's problem. One team manager explicitly mentioned Zarco's age to me as a factor which he saw as a problem.

As I said, Yamaha is waiting for 2017, when some talented and much younger riders become available.

Total votes: 63

Just like in the garden, there is a rhythm and timing. It is natural to make judgements relative to the potential of other rider picks, there is sense and wisdom in having the rider choice who is arising as potential now. The MotoGP experience time is there. The rider is set up to manifest their potential now or not. All is in process rather naturally.

I am more surprised by Smith's improvement this year. And the anomaly of any rider ever going straight in from Moto3 as we have this season. And the 2015 to 2016 season transition has the oddity of tire change, which shifts the norm. It is a bit lacking to not have a slightly younger/less experienced/less ripe rider with more outstanding potential like Rins alongside a P.Espargaro or Smith. Maybe this is a time when "good guy" Herve's personal family - like commitment to his riders is not preferable. That would be unusual methinks.

Still though, the Yamaha rider pipeline is vastly underdeveloped relative to Honda and this is of real concern. The Tech 3 spots are a sensitive and important matter. The Forward/Not Getting Money spots and program should be but are not. There lacks a unified vision and workings. There are some riders that are under cultivated (A.Espargaro is my first pick there too). And some over cultivated (many of us spoke of this re Smith for example, and plenty of contentious assertions re Crutchlow or Hayden).

There are surely a few very frustrated top tier Moto2 riders itching to get that Satellite Yamaha spot right now. And the Open Yamaha spots are a one-off bizarre turd sandwich at the present. True.

But Yamaha is not doing the basic functioning of rider pipeline well enough, and this is not a one-off current matter. Herve is a gem, and his wonderful contribution is hard to overstate. Yamaha needs a Repsol. Yamaha needs two Satellite bikes more quickly getting parity to the performance of their Factory bikes.

Total votes: 64

Why do you say Yamaha needs that, Shrink? Perhaps Yamaha is confident that, after the silly season of next summer, their team will still have both Rossi and Lorenzo on board for 2017-2018. There is risk to that, as Ducati may dangle a stack of cash in front of Jorge, but I do predict Valentino will renew almost certainly, and Jorge's renewal is more likely than not. And, I also predict one good promotion-worthy rider will emerge from the Tech 3 Espargoro/Smith battleground next year, so Yamaha will have that backup position if Lorenzo does depart.

Total votes: 59