MotoGP: Crutchlow delighted with new HRC deal

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Double MotoGP race winner Cal Crutchlow says he’s delighted with the terms and conditions of his new HRC contract direct with the factory in Japan that will see him remain with them for another two years.

Extending his relationship with the LCR team after a hugely successful 2016 season, the Isle of Man resident says he believes that the deal is just reward not only for his results but for his input to the team.

“I think the factory deal has come about because out of the three years that I’ve rode for Honda, I’ve been the only one able to get results for them apart from Marc and Dani. That, along with my experience of riding two other manufacturers and my experience of racing. Marc, Dani, Jack and Tito have only ever ridden Hondas, and I think that my experience there and how to improve the bike is important to them.

“But results also speak, and I’ve had some great results over the years. Don’t get me wrong – I could have had more, and there’s some I missed, but you’ve got to get results. I’ve been fortunate to be rewarded for those results with a new two-year deal from LCR and HRC.”

The deal should also see further support coming his way as he continues in his role as a key part of the Japanese manufacturer’s development work on the bike. Already in a position where he’s now receiving components before or alongside the factory riders, he’s hoping that their integration into HRC’s master plan means they can only get stronger as a whole in the future.

“We do so much testing as it is at the minute, and this year we’ve already done loads. And at the tests, I normally always test new items or evaluate things a bit quicker than the others, because of my experience. That’s good for me, it’s good for my team, and it shows how much support HRC give to the satellite teams.”

And while the deal will likely see him remain with the LCR squad for 2017, the nature of his new contract also opens up the possibility of even bigger and better things in the future, if one of Honda’s factory riders chooses to leave the squad when their contracts expire at the end of the 2018 season.

Already linked with a move to the Repsol Honda squad for this year if Dani Pedrosa had accepted a position provisionally offered to him at the Movistar Yamaha squad, Crutchlow says that it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he could end up on the orange machines in the future.

“I’m fully focused on riding for LCR and doing my job for the rest of this year and for next year. I do have a deal that is a HRC agreement though, and I’m sure that if I was performing well at the time and something strange happened maybe I would slot in there. But it’s not why I signed the contract.

“I signed a fantastic deal for me personally, as well as technically and for the team. I haven’t signed it to go to the factory team – I signed it because I’m happy where I am and because I’m getting results. I did well last year and there’s no reason why I can’t again this year.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer