Yamaha renews its MotoGP contract with Pol Espargaro

Yamaha has renewed its MotoGP contract with Pol Espargaro and will keep him at the Tech 3 team for the 2016 season

Yamaha renews its MotoGP contract with Pol Espargaro

The 24-year-old Spaniard earned a factory Yamaha deal while heading for the Moto2 title in 2013 and has been placed at Tech 3 since.

He was the top satellite rider in the championship in his rookie MotoGP season, finishing sixth.

This season has proved more challenging, but he recently had the boost of winning the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race on a works Yamaha shared with factory test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga and his Tech 3 team-mate Bradley Smith.

"Despite some tricky moments this year, I know the bike and I know I can continue to work well together with Yamaha and Tech 3 in order to achieve our goals," Espargaro said.

"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."

Lin Jarvis, managing director of Yamaha's motor racing programme, said the firm is certain Espargaro had "a big future in the MotoGP class" even though he has struggled to live up to his rookie results.

"He has faced many difficulties in the first half of 2015 but we are still convinced that he has big potential and remains one of the most exciting, young talents for the future," Jarvis said.

"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."

Smith's future with Tech 3 has yet to be confirmed.

Although he is tipped to remain at the team, the British rider admitted at Indianapolis on Thursday that he had hoped for more clarity by now.

"I would have liked to have some positive news to share but everything has been very quiet," he said.

"I've made it clear to the team and to Yamaha I want to continue but there's not the same enthusiasm coming the other way at the moment so we'll have to wait and see."

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