Pol Espargaro extends stay at KTM

Pol Espargaro pic: MotoGP.com

Pol Espargaro will remain at the factory KTM MotoGP team for at least another two seasons.

The Spaniard linked with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for its first full season in MotoGP last year and has now signed to stay on for 2019 and 2020.

Espargaro has consistently outperformed team-mate Bradley Smith since the start of 2017, finishing that season 17th in the standings with KTM’s best race result to date of ninth (twice).

“It has been really easy for me to make this decision; I did not think of another possibility for even a minute,” said the 2013 Moto2 champion.

“I cannot hide how happy I am being involved in this amazing project, despite the challenges and the work we still have to go through.

“I love the KTM philosophy and I want to continue trying to reach our goals. I don’t know when we will be able to do it, but I’m sure that we will arrive.

“I have to thank my whole crew for how they push and how they support me, with the leadership of my crew chief Paul Trevathan, and for sure Mike Leitner and Pit Beirer for how they strive every day.”

KTM Motorsports Director Pit Beirer added, “Pol has been such a strong part of our project and gave us a lot of trust and belief as well as the highlights so far with two ninth positions.

“I’m really happy we can continue together for another two years because we can build on the work we have already done and keep progressing with the bike.

“He should definitely be one of the people that should benefit from everything we have achieve and learned and how we will push on in the future.”

Reports have tipped current Tech3 rider Johann Zarco as Espargaro’s team-mate next season.

Tech3 itself will switch from Yamaha to become a KTM satellite team from 2019.

MotoGP resumes on-track from tomorrow evening with the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

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