Cal Crutchlow declines Yamaha MotoGP chance
British rider Cal Crutchlow has declined the chance to partner American Ben Spies in at least three MotoGP races this season, MCN can exclusively reveal.
Crutchlow held lengthy talks with Yamaha management about a temporary move to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, as was first reported by MCN last week.
The 24-year-old would have joined Herve Poncharal’s squad for the Catalunya, Sachsenring and Laguna Seca races with Colin Edwards taking injured Valentino Rossi’s place in the Fiat-backed factory squad.
It would have meant Crutchlow facing a hectic schedule of racing in World Superbikes and MotoGP for six successive weeks.
He’d have constantly changed bikes and tyres and without any previous experience of Yamaha’s YZR-M1, Bridgestone tyres or any of the tracks he would have raced at, Crutchlow declined the chance having agonised over the decision for days.
The reigning World Supersport champion held further talks with senior Yamaha management at the Japanese factory’s European headquarters in Milan yesterday (Monday).
He said: “It would have been an honour to ride for Yamaha in MotoGP but after discussions I’ve decided not to do it. The decision was made between us and I think Yamaha respect me for deciding not to do it.”
Crutchlow’s decision not to move creates a headache for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team boss Poncharal.
Texan Edwards will still take Rossi’s place next to Jorge Lorenzo for the Catalunya, Sachsenring and Laguna Seca races, leaving Poncharal to seek a partner for reigning World Superbike champion Ben Spies.
For the full story see tomorrow’s MCN, which includes a special free 32-page preview of this weekend’s British MotoGP race at Silverstone.