Pol Espargaro free to quit Yamaha if Lorenzo stays

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Pol Espargaro has admitted he is unlikely to quit Yamaha for 2015, despite having an option to leave if the door to a factory YZR-M1 ride is slammed shut in his face for next season.

MCN has learned that the Spaniard has a clause in his contract that he becomes a free agent if Yamaha signs new deals with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Nine-times world champion Rossi confirmed his new two-year deal with Yamaha last week, while protracted talks with Lorenzo are on going, with the Spaniard still strongly linked to a shock Ducati transfer.

Espargaro has a contract direct with Yamaha in Japan, but for 2014 he was placed in the satellite Tech 3 squad.

The clear intention from his side was to secure a move to the factory team next year.

But with Rossi’s brilliant resurgence earning him a new deal, and Yamaha’s desire to re-sign Lorenzo, it could be at least one more year before the reigning Moto2 world champion can even contemplate securing a factory YZR-M1 ride.

Espargaro admitted it is unlikely he will leave Yamaha but he told MCN: “If the two official bikes are taken I am able to speak with other teams and I am able to move. I have offers but we don’t know what to do, though my priority is to stay because I like this team (Tech 3) and bike and I am competitive. Tech 3 is one of the best in the world championship and there are not many like this one. We have to be smart and not stupid but if the two official bikes are taken I have to think I am still on a good bike in a good team and there is no meaning to change just because I’m not on the official bike.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt