Espargaro signs for Honda for 2021 in place of Alex Marquez – Reuters UK

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP – San Marino Grand Prix – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Misano Adriatico, Italy – September 15, 2019 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro at the end of the race REUTERS/Rafael Marrodan

(Reuters) – Spaniard Pol Espargaro has signed a two-year deal to race for MotoGP champions Repsol Honda from 2021 when Marc Marquez’s brother Alex will move to the LCR team in place of Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, Honda said on Monday.

The 2020 MotoGP season has yet to start, with the first race scheduled for Spain’s Jerez circuit this weekend without spectators.

Alex Marquez, who won Moto2 last year, will debut with Repsol Honda in MotoGP this season before switching to the satellite LCR outfit with his contract extended to the end of 2022.

The moves had been widely signalled within the sport, with KTM already announcing Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira as replacement for Espargaro at their factory team.

“HRC would like to extend their thanks to Cal Crutchlow for his diligent and tireless work since joining HRC in 2015,” Honda added.

“With three wins and 12 podiums, the British rider has been a valuable asset on and off track — a constant source of excellent feedback for the engineers and a key part of developing the Honda RC213V in recent years.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond

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