The Honda MotoGP switch for Pol Espargaro is confirmed as Alex Marquez will move to satellite outfit LCR as a replacement to Cal Crutchlow, while Petronas SRT Yamaha as renewed with Franco Morbidelli.
The move from Espargaro only needed to be announced after KTM revealed its 2021 MotoGP line-up without the Spaniard amid plethora of speculations. With the 2020 season ready to kick-off this weekend at Jerez, Honda has confirmed its rider news.
Espargaro has a signed a two-year deal with Honda as a replacement to A Marquez, alongside his brother, Marc. Meanwhile, Alex will stay on with the Japanese manufacturer but will switch to LCR instead from 2021 MotoGP season to replace Crutchlow.
This ends the relationship between Crutchlow and Honda which started way back in 2015 MotoGP season, as his future remains unknown at this juncture. LCR and or Honda hasn’t confirmed Takaaki Nakagami’s re-signing for 2021 or beyond.
Honda only released a statement for Espargaro without any quotes: “Honda Racing Corporation are pleased to announce the signing of Pol Espargaro. The former Moto2 World Champion will join the Repsol Honda Team on a two-year contract.
“He will join eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez aboard the Honda RC213V. Espargaro is one of the most experienced riders on the grid, having raced in the World Championship since 2006 and with 104 premier class Grands Prix contested.”
Meanwhile, on his move to the satellite team, Marquez said: “I am very proud to announce my renewal with Honda Racing Corporation. HRC gave me the opportunity to arrive in MotoGP and I am glad to join the LCR Honda Team at the end of 2020 and compete in a big team with great experience in MotoGP.
“I want to thank HRC and the LCR Honda Team for their trust in me to be able to continue in the Honda family and I will work hard to prove their confidence with results. Now, I am eager to start the season in Jerez and I am completely focused to give my best this year.”
HRC Director Yoshishige Nomura stated: “HRC are happy to continue working with Alex Marquez through the learning process in the MotoGP category for the next two seasons. After deep consideration and a thorough analysis of the current situation, we believe Alex has a great opportunity to grow in the premier class with full factory support inside the LCR Honda Team. We believe that by following this path over the next three seasons, we will achieve the results both HRC and Alex look for.”
Outside the Honda family, Petronas SRT Yamaha has renewed with Morbidelli – in a two-year contract – amid raft of speculations about a deal with Valentino Rossi. Having lost Fabio Quartararo to the factory outfit, the team wishes to bank on experience.
“I’m very pleased to be renewing with PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team as we had such a great season together last year, working with a great drive to achieve success,” said Morbidelli. “I think it’s important for me to continue with the same team, bike and environment going forward as it feels great to work with them.
“We all work well together and it’s great fun to work with all the PETRONAS SRT crew. I want to thank them for this opportunity that they are giving me as it’s such an honour to ride for them. I will be working hard to give them even more and even better results than we achieved in our first year together.
“I’m now looking forward to getting racing again to show our potential and I’m just so happy to have the chance to keep on doing what I love to do with a team I love.” Meanwhile, Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT Director added: “We are delighted to confirm that Franky will continue with us next year.
“He is an extremely talented rider and a great asset to the team as we look to build on our rookie season. Franky was always in our plans for the future so it is beneficial for us and him to be able to confirm that he will ride for us in 2021 and 2022 now.
“Franky has the potential to reach the top step of the podium and this is what we’ll all be working hard to achieve. We have absolute faith in Franky even before this season has started. We are confident that Franky has what it takes to be competitive from Jerez and know that he will develop and mature in all areas through the years ahead. Franky will provide the team with stability and competitiveness and we can’t wait to be back on track.”
Here’s news on Americas MotoGP cancellation
Here’s news on Andrea Dovizioso’s injury
Here’s news from KTM regarding its line-up
Here’s Aprilia on Bradley Smith racing for opening two rounds of 2020
Here’s how the 2020 MotoGP calendar sits