Crutchlow wants better plan to continue as Yamaha MotoGP tester

The British rider, who returned to the Yamaha fold in 2021 after his career as a full-time rider came to an end following the 2020 season, made the remarks in the wake of his wildcard outing in last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.

Crutchlow’s first race outing since last year’s Valencia season finale came amid a year in which he has spent long periods on the sidelines in between tests.

He believes Yamaha must change to a more consistent schedule if he is to sign up to a new deal as test rider as his existing arrangement expires at the end of the year.

Asked by whether he would be back as a Yamaha tester in 2024, Crutchlow replied: “I don’t know yet. It needs to be discussed.

“They want me to sign a new three-year agreement. We will see, but they have to change the testing plan, because the plan at the moment is not good enough.

“This year I had nine weeks off after Sepang, then I did three tests in two weeks, then I had 14 weeks off and then I did three tests in two weeks again. You can’t do it like that.

“We need to make sure I’m more consistently on the bike, also for the engineers. That’s how you make progress.

“Hopefully they come up with a better plan, and I’ll make a decision then.”

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Racing Team

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Crutchlow also clarified that he has no more wildcard outings planned in the remaining six rounds of the year, with two more tests to come in Jerez and Valencia.

Reflecting on a wet Motegi race in which he finished 13th, Crutchlow said he regretted the decision to follow Yamaha stablemate Fabio Quartararo by staying out on slicks on a wet track instead of following the majority in pitting for his wet bike on lap one.

The 37-year-old added he was satisfied with his pace when the conditions were at their worst before the race was red-flagged with only 12 of the scheduled 24 laps complete.

“I knew from the pace of the guys in front and how fast I was catching them, so I knew I was strong,” Crutchlow recalled. “I should have pitted a lap earlier and I would have been in a good situation.

“We caught some guys from a long way back, so that was positive, with only six laps or whatever in full rain conditions.

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“But we needed a dry race with the full race distance to be able to understand the direction with the setting we tried.

“I feel we know the direction to go in, it’s just whether Yamaha will follow that direction. I hope so, because a lot of the engineers also believe that’s the direction to go in and hopefully we will make strides for next year.”

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