British rider Cal Crutchlow switching from superbikes to MotoGP

Signing with Yamaha for MotoGP

2011 MOTOGP

Crutchlow, who won the World Supersport Championship in 2009, has signed a two-year deal with Tech 3 Yamaha team.

The 24-year-old will be replaced at the factory Yamaha outfit by Italian Marco Melandri, currently with the San Carlo Honda Gresini MotoGP team.

“It’s hard to explain how excited I am, joining MotoGP is like a dream come true,” said Coventry’s Crutchlow.

“To think I will be racing against the likes of Valentino Rossi, who I grew up being a massive fan of, is a really exciting prospect. I can’t wait for 2011.”

Coventry-born Crutchlow follows fellow Briton James Toseland in joining the Tech 3 outfit, where his partner is expected to be veteran American rider Colin Edwards.

Toseland spent two years with the team before returning to the World Superbike championship at the start of this season.

Crutchlow replaces Ben Spies of the United States, who has graduated to the works Yamaha team in place of world champion Valentino Rossi. He will be at Ducati in 2011.

Tech 3 team manager Herve Poncharal said: “Crutchlow has shown with his World Supersport success in 2009 and with a series of outstanding performances in World Superbikes this year what an exciting prospect he is.”

Melandri, a former 250cc world champion, stated he was “very happy” with his “big change”.

The Italian rejoined Gresini last August but has not enjoyed much success this season.

The 28-year-old is currently ninth in the MotoGP standings with a best 2010 finish of fifth place, achieved at his home race at Mugello in June.

He came 10th in Sunday’s San Marino MotoGP.

“It was a difficult decision because this is the best team I have worked with in my career,” added Melandri.

“But I felt that I needed a new challenge and the genuine opportunity to be back fighting for wins and podiums led me to make this choice”.

(Source: BBC)

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