Pol Espargaro has renewed his deal with KTM in MotoGP until the end of 2020.
The former Moto2 champion joined the Austrian manufacturer on an initial two-year deal back in 2017, after having spent three years with the Tech3 Yamaha squad.
He led the marque’s efforts in 2017, twice posting the best finish of its debut season with ninth place and ending the campaign 17th overall.
“It has been really easy for me to make this decision; I did not think of another possibility for even a minute,” Espargaro said of his new deal.
“I cannot hide how happy I am being involved in this amazing project, despite the challenges and the work we still have to go through.
“I love the KTM philosophy and I want to continue trying to reach our goals.
“I don’t know when we will be able to do it, but I’m sure that we will arrive.”
The Spaniard’s preparations for 2018 were hobbled by a pre-season injury, but he has scored all eight of the marque’s points from the first three races of the year.
The news of Espargaro’s contract extension will almost certainly spell the end of his current team-mate Bradley Smith’s ride, as KTM is set to sign Tech3 Yamaha ace Johann Zarco.
“Pol has been such a strong part of our project and gave us a lot of trust and belief as well as the highlights so far with two ninth positions,” KTM motorsport boss Pit Beirer said.
“I’m really happy we can continue together for another two years because we can build on the work we have already done and keep progressing with the bike.
“He should definitely be one of the people that should benefit from everything we have achieve and learned and how we will push on in the future.”