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Cal Crutchlow to leave Ducati MotoGP team before 2015 season


Cal Crutchlow will leave the Ducati MotoGP team before 2015, with Andrea Iannone taking his place.

Just a week after Crutchlow declared at the World Ducati Week promotional event that he would see out his two-year contract, Ducati confirmed reports that the two parties would split after all.

"Ducati Corse announced today that it has reached an agreement with its factory rider Cal Crutchlow to terminate, ahead of time, the contract that ties the British rider to the Italian team in MotoGP for 2014 and also for next season.

"The two factory Ducati Team riders for 2015 will now be Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone."

Crutchlow replaced Nicky Hayden alongside Dovizioso in the factory Ducati team this year after a very strong 2013 season with Tech 3 Yamaha, during which he had taken four podium finishes and two pole positions.

But the 28-year-old Briton has struggled throughout 2014, scoring just one top-six finish - in the Qatar season opener - and sitting only 14th in the standings at mid-season.

Crutchlow has been strongly linked to a move to LCR Honda for 2015. He was previously rumoured to be a target for Suzuki's return to MotoGP.

NEWS UPDATE: Crutchlow seals 2015 LCR Honda move

His works Ducati replacement Iannone has impressed greatly on the satellite Pramac Desmosedici this year. The 24-year-old Italian qualified on the front row for his home race at Mugello and finished a career-best fifth for the last race at the Sachsenring.

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