Pol Espargaro to partner Marc Marquez at Honda from 2021

Paris (AFP) –


Pol Espargaro will join Honda to race alongside Marc Marquez in 2021, with the MotoGP world champion's younger brother Alex to drop into the satellite team, the manufacturer announced Monday.

Honda said Espargaro would join from KTM at the end of this season, which is belatedly set to get underway in Jerez de la Frontera on July 19 following the coronavirus lockdown.

Former Moto2 champion Espargaro, 29, has competed in 104 MotoGP races, finishing on the podium once, and has a best finish in the riders' standings of sixth in his rookie season with Yamaha in 2014.

Alex Marquez will only spend one year with his older brother and six-time top-class world champion Marc before dropping into the satellite LCR team, although Honda said he would carry on using a factory bike.

"I am glad to be joining the LCR Honda team at the end of 2020 and compete in a big team with great experience in MotoGP," said Alex Marquez.

"Now, I am eager to start the season in Jerez and I am completely focused to give my best this year."

Alex Marquez joined the Honda MotoGP team for this season to replace Jorge Lorenzo, who retired at the end of the 2019 campaign.

His move to LCR means that experienced Briton Cal Crutchlow will have to find a new place on the grid.

Crutchlow won three races and claimed 12 podium finishes for LCR after arriving in 2015.

Pol Espargaro's brother Aleix also rides in MotoGP for Aprilia.