(Reuters) - Spanish rider Pol Espargaro will leave Yamaha Tech3 at the end of the season, the MotoGP team said in a statement at the Catalunya Grand Prix on Thursday.
Yamaha said the 24-year-old, who has been linked to the new KTM team, will start "new racing challenges" next year and a replacement would be named in due course.
The Spaniard, currently seventh overall and the leading non-works team rider after six races, joined Tech3 in 2014 after winning the Moto2 championship.
KTM have already signed Britain's Bradley Smith, Espargaro's current team mate at Tech3, for 2017 and 2018.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)