Pol Espargaro Parts With Yamaha To Sign With KTM MotoGP Team

Yamaha announces end to partnership with Espargaro after 2016 racing season.

Pol Espargaro at Mugello
Pol Espargaro on the #44 Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 at Mugello.©Motorcyclist

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announced this morning that Yamaha and Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Pol Espargaró will go their separate ways at the close of the [2016 MotoGP season](Yamaha and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team will continue to put their full efforts into finishing the 2016 season with Espargaró and Smith in the best possible manner during the remaining 12 MotoGP rounds of the 2016 World Championship. The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team replacements will be announced in due course.), when the Spaniard will start new racing challenges with the KTM MotoGP.

According to [MotoGP](Yamaha and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team will continue to put their full efforts into finishing the 2016 season with Espargaró and Smith in the best possible manner during the remaining 12 MotoGP rounds of the 2016 World Championship. The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team replacements will be announced in due course.), KTM has been busy testing with a variety of former World Championship riders in order to prepare the KTM RC16 for its World Championship debut in 2017, but have also remained focus on signing an all-star lineup. At the start of the 2016 season, KTM announced Bradley Smith as their first rider and now Espargaro has announced that he too will be joining Smith for the 2017 season. The current Tech 3 teammates have proven to be competitive, Espargaro especially so in 2016. The pair are also known for their in-depth feedback, critical for assisting KTM in the development of their MotoGP machine.

Espargaró joined the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team in 2014, following his championship victory in the Moto2 class the year before. He adapted quickly to the YZR-M1, qualifying second for the fifth race in Le Mans and claimed Rookie of the Year honors as well as top satellite MotoGP rider with a sixth-place overall finish.

Espargarò followed up by taking ninth place in the final rankings in the 2015 season, with the highlight of finishing as the highest satellite team rider in Assen and Valencia with two fifth places.

So far this season, Espargaró holds seventh place with 48 points in the 2016 MotoGP World Championship standings and has been the leading independent team rider since the start of the 2016 campaign, finishing three times as the best independent rider in Losail, Jerez, and Le Mans.

Bradley Smith at Mugello
With a seventh-place finish overall, Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith was the top Independent Team rider at Mugello.©Motorcyclist

Yamaha and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team will continue to put their full efforts into finishing the 2016 season with Espargaró and Smith in the best possible manner during the remaining 12 MotoGP rounds of the 2016 World Championship.

The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team replacements will be announced in due course.