Cal Crutchlow has made it clear exclusively to MCN that his strong result in Sunday’s opening race of the 2018 MotoGP season is simply the first move in a longer game as the British racer sets out to secure himself a factory Repsol Honda seat for 2019. Only just missing out on a podium finish to Valentino Rossi, Crutchlow came home to satellite bike – but says that’s not enough for him in the future.
Already on a contract directly with Honda and on an LCR machine that’s largely similar to that of reigning champion Marc Marquez, Crutchlow has been motivated even more by the latest rumours linking Dani Pedrosa to other teams.
And despite Johann Zarco also supposedly in the mix to replace Pedrosa, Crutchlow is adamant that given his experience on the RC213V, there’s no one more qualified than him to step onto the orange machines should Pedrosa get the boot.
“Dani is a good rider, but he’s had many years at Honda now. He can turn it on when he needs to and you can’t take anything away from him because he wins races every year. But if they decide they’re not keeping him, of course I won’t be happy if I’m not the obvious choice. I’ve done a great job for them, I’m already employed by them, and it would be an easy step.
“If they went and signed Johann Zarco, I’d be very disappointed. He will not do what he’s doing now on the Yamaha on the Honda, because he doesn’t ride that way. Sure, you can teach yourself some things, but it isn’t going to happen easily for him. In one way, I’d welcome the challenge he would bring, but it would be for the wrong reason – to prove a point.”