MotoGP: KTM extend Espargaro deal for two further years

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The Red Bull KTM MotoGP team have extended their deal with Spanish rider Pol Espargaró by two further years, extending the Spaniard’s contract to keep him as a key part of their team until at least the end of the 2020 MotoGP season.

Most likely set to join Frenchman Johann Zarco at the squad next season, Espargaro says that the new contract was a simple call for him.

“It has been really easy for me to make this decision; I did not think of another possibility for even a minute. I cannot hide how happy I am being involved in this amazing project, despite the challenges and the work we still have to go through. I love the KTM philosophy and I want to continue trying to reach our goals. I don’t know when we will be able to do it, but I’m sure that we will arrive.

“I have to thank my whole crew for how they push and how they support me, with the leadership of my crew chief Paul Trevathan, and for sure Mike Leitner and Pit Beirer for how they strive every day. And, of course, all the people that work at the races and back at Munderfing. We are a team with an ambitious aim. I’m enjoying my best moments in the MotoGP championship, and I’m really happy to know that I’m going to continue here at least until 2020.”

Not confirming any news about their second rider just yet, the news looks set to bring Bradley Smith’s involvement as a factory rider with the Austrian manufacturer to an end. However, the Oxfordshire rider has been resistant to talking about his future in the premier class so far this season.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer