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Poncharal working on Edwards-Crutchlow Tech 3 line-up

Poncharal working on Edwards-Crutchlow Tech 3 line-up

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss has discussed his team’s potential MotoGP rider arrangement for 2011, and also said he expects the departing Ben Spies to be a title contender in the factory set-up next season.

With the graduation of Ben Spies from the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 set-up to the factory team next season, a free seat has become available in Hervé Poncharal’s MotoGP squad for 2011. There has been plenty of speculation on the possible line-up for next season including the future of current rider Colin Edwards, and Poncharal said that the intention is for the 36 year-old to continue on the satellite team next season.

“Colin has always told me he would like to do one more year, which is 2011, before retiring. This year he has been proving that he still has the speed to be a good MotoGP rider. Yamaha and Tech 3 have an interest in seeing him stay because we have a long-term relationship and have enjoyed a really great relationship together, so we are working on something,” Poncharal told

“Yamaha USA would really love to keep him as a rider next year and for the future as an ambassador, so this weekend is very important in this respect. Hopefully by the end of it we can have a position from Yamaha USA that we will explain to Colin and by Misano we should be a bit clearer.”

With regards to the seat freed up by Spies much of the paddock speculation has revolved around Cal Crutchlow, the 24 year-old Brit who is currently riding for Yamaha in world superbikes and who has stated his desire to make the move up to MotoGP.

“Cal has made it clear that although he has had a lot of offers in superbikes he wants to come to MotoGP,” said Poncharal. “He is very happy with Yamaha so the obvious position is for him to replace Ben. We are very close to finalising everything on this and I’m confident that will happen very soon. Next weekend is Italy and that could be a very good place!”

Poncharal also looked ahead to Spies’ 2011 season and said he fully expects the 26 year-old to contend for race wins and the World Championship title.

“This year Ben has been doing very well in his rookie season and I think he deserves to be there,” said the Frenchman. “Of course we’re sad to see him leave but are happy to have been able to work with him this year, and also to help him prepare for next season with the factory team. It’s his next step to be able to show he can fight for winning races and, hopefully, the Championship.”

Poncharal continued: “For me Ben will be a title contender next year, there is no doubt in my mind about that. He’s very strong and is learning fast, he’ll know all the tracks and also MotoGP. He’s a very good test rider and understands how to set up the bike. He is calm, determined, and he knows what he can do. He also knows the potential of Yamaha and I believe that next year in every single race he will be a potential winner.”

MotoGP, 2010, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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