Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team rider Cal Crutchlow will move up to join the Monster Energy Tech 3 Team at the end of the 2010 World Superbike season to fight in the MotoGP Championship in 2011.
Crutchlow rejoined the Yamaha family in 2009, successfully taking the World Supersport Championship on the R6 before joining the World Superbike team in 2010.
The 24-year-old British rider has fought competitively over the season for podiums and race wins, taking a double victory at Silverstone for his home race.
“Being part of the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team has been fantastic,” Crutchlow commented. “When I first signed with Yamaha for the 2009 World Supersport Championship we went on to win the world championship and the natural progression was to move to World Superbike.
“It was an honour to be asked to be part of the team and to remain as part of the Yamaha family. Now I’m again taking another step and I am being brought through to the Tech3 Team as they have done with other riders such as Ben Spies in the past. I first rode for Yamaha in 2003 in the R6 Cup so have a great history with them.
“Moving to MotoGP is a great opportunity for me, it was an honour to be asked by Herve Poncheral and for Yamaha to back me. I intend to do the best job I can with the team next year, be humble, learn and enjoy the experience.”
Following in the footsteps of reigning 2009 World Superbike Champion Ben Spies, Crutchlow is another rider nurtured through the Yamaha family, progressing to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing through the various race classes and benefiting from the Japanese manufacturer’s policy of developing and supporting racing talent.
“I’m delighted we had the opportunity to work with Cal to take the World Supersport title last year and compete this year in World Superbike,” said Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Yamaha Motor Europe Racing manager. “On one side we would have liked to go for the World Superbike title in 2011 but given the opportunities at this moment for Yamaha and Cal it is a great move.
“Again we are showing that our policy of bringing young riders up through the various racing classes to the top tier in MotoGP is proving successful. Cal deserves this opportunity, he is a highly professional racer and completely dedicated to training for success. We believe he has what it takes to fight for success at the highest levels.”
The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team has announced that Italian MotoGP rider Marco Melandri will join the World Superbike Championship for the 2011 race season as replacement for Crutchlow.
Melandri is a former 250cc GP World Champion and has finished as highly as second in the MotoGP championship with five MotoGP race victories to date in his career and a further 10 250cc GP victories.
“I’m very happy with this new challenge, it’s a big change and I want to fight for World Superbike wins,” said Melandri. “It’s nice to be back with Yamaha because I know many people there. I was very young when I rode with them before, now I’m much more mature.
“As the reigning 2009 champions the Yamaha Sterilgarda Team have proved to have a very competitive package and are one of the top teams in World Superbike. I realise Superbike is not easy and I know I have to work hard. I’m looking forward to feeling the adrenalin again and fighting for the championship.”