(Reuters) - British rider Cal Crutchlow will ride for Ducati for the next two seasons after reaching an agreement with the Italian MotoGP outfit.
Crutchlow, currently with Yamaha, will re-join former team mate Andrea Dovizioso for the 2014 and 2015 campaigns in what will be his first ride with a factory team.
The 27-year-old former World Supersport champion and 2011 MotoGP rookie of the year, is fifth in this year’s standings, posting four podiums in the first nine races.
Ducati confirmed that Crutchlow would replace Nicky Hayden who has been with the team for five years.
“Ducati would like to thank Nicky for his contributions during that time, and everyone on the team and at Ducati Corse looks forward to giving him and Andrea their full support over the second half of the 2013 season,” a statement said on Friday.
Replacing Crutchlow in Yamaha’s Tech3 team will be 22-year-old Spanish Moto2 rider Pol Espargaro.
The 10th round of the MotoGP season takes place at Indianapolis on August 18.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond