Pol Espargaro has the talent and potential to be consistently battling for the top six in his rookie MotoGP world championship campaign in 2014.
That’s the view of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal, who is preparing to work with the Spanish Moto2 world title contender next season, with Cal Crutchlow on his way to Ducati’s factory squad.
Espargaro was signed on a factory contract direct with Yamaha in Japan but will ride in the French-based Tech 3 squad alongside British rider Bradley Smith next season.
The 22-year-old is currently fighting for the Moto2 world title with Briton Scott Redding and resumes the battle this weekend in Indianapolis trailing the Gloucestershire rider by 23-points.
Poncharal, who was desperate to try and persuade Crutchlow to stay for a fourth season with Tech 3 after an outstanding 2013, told MCN: “I think Pol is very talented. We could see last year that he was the only one that could challenge and match Marc (Marquez) in Moto2. He is very young and unless things change dramatically it will be him or Scott that will win the Moto2 championship. I think next year we can see him getting some strong results and by that I mean top five and six. But I have no doubt he is going to be strong.”