MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow leaves Yamaha to sign for Ducati
Cal Crutchlow will join the Ducati MotoGP team next season on a two-year deal.
The 27-year-old Briton replaces Nicky Hayden, who learned last month that he had lost his seat after five seasons.
Crutchlow has spent his MotoGP career so far with Yamaha’s satellite Tech 3 team.
Although he has had a highly-competitive 2013 season – taking four podium finishes and his first pole – he has been frustrated at times by the lack of equipment parity between Tech 3 and the works team.
He repeatedly expressed a desire to get into a factory team as soon as possible.
Despite major structural changes following its acquisition by Audi in 2012, Ducati continues to struggle for MotoGP form at present.
It has not won since 2010 and current factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Hayden have yet to mount the podium in ’13, with the Italian’s fourth in France the team’s best result.
Tech 3 is expected to recruit Moto2 title contender Pol Espargaro as Crutchlow’s replacement.