British rider Cal Crutchlow has signed a new one-year deal with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad for the 2013 MotoGP world championship.
The 26-year-old will stay on board a satellite YZR-M1 machine next season and be joined by compatriot Bradley Smith, who moves up from the Tech 3 Moto2 squad on a two-year deal for 2013 and 2014.
Crutchlow had looked certain at one stage to leave Herve Poncharal’s French-based squad having been pursued by Ducati’s factory squad earlier in the season.
But Ducati opted to keep American Nicky Hayden and then turned its attention to Crutchlow’s Italian team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who has impressed at Tech 3 with five podium finishes in the last seven races.
Crutchlow also held brief talks with Honda about a switch to the Gresini satellite squad and he claimed to have offers from every single major team in World Superbikes.
The 2009 World Supersport champion though penned a new deal last night (Friday) after he finished fourth at the end of the opening day of practice for this weekend’s Czech Republic MotoGP clash in Brno.
Crutchlow, who recently launched a scathing attack on Ducati after failing to secure a factory Desmosedici GP13 next season, said: “I am delighted to commit my future to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team for at least one more year. Together we have made huge progress this season and achieved some strong results and I am confident we can be even more competitive in 2013. Yamaha and Monster have been very loyal to me over a long period of time and they both made it clear how much they wanted to keep me for next year. That was incredibly flattering and I really appreciate their support. Next year will be my fifth with Yamaha and I am excited to continue my MotoGP career with them. My relationship with Tech 3 also played a big part in my decision. Herve Poncharal and all my crew have given me unbelievable backing since I joined in 2011. Yamaha put together a great package for 2012 and next year it will be even stronger. Hopefully I can reward their loyalty to me by challenging for the podium throughout 2013, which I know we are capable of.”
Crutchlow is currently fifth in the world championship with eight top six finishes.