Crutchlow keen to ‘assist development’ of Aprilia’s MotoGP project

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow has this afternoon confirmed he is in talks with Aprilia to join them for the 2021 MotoGP season.

Although Crutchlow hasn’t officially left LCR Honda, it looks likely he will be replaced by Alex Marquez as the Spaniard is being moved out of the works Repsol Honda team to make way for Pol Espargaro before he has even turned a competitive wheel.

Crutchlow is not remotely downhearted by his probable exit from the Honda family after being a factory rider in Lucio Cecchinello’s team for four years, telling bikesportnews.com that developing the RS-GP could be fun and that he is determined to help the manufacturer should he get the opportumnity..

“My time with Honda has been great and we have achieved a lot together but all good things must come to an end at some point,” said Crutchlow.

“I’ve had 19 podiums with Lucio and his team but he now has other things on his plate. If a deal isn’t done with Taka then I might be able to stay but I think the chances of that are remote.

“Honestly, I am not feeling bad about it. I want what I am doing to be fun because it’s not about the money and developing the RS-GP with Aleix could be a lot of fun.

I see it as an opportunity to try and get podiums with every manufacturer I have ridden for in MotoGP and that I am very determined to help develop the bike with a lot of commitment to the project. I’m sure I can do.”

There is the small matter of Andrea Iannone’s contract that stands in the way as well as fellow Brit Bradley Smith who will stand in for the Italian until his doping conviction is sorted out one way or the other. WADA are wanting to nail Iannone to the wall with a four-year ban, which tells you something.

Crutchlow’s future in MotoGP doesn’t hang on one team, however, as there are a couple of other options with the other Italian manufacturer. Retirement had been talked about but Crutchlow said that had been blown out of all proportion.

“I think I mentioned it once and suddenly that was it, I was retiring. Fortunately, the manufacturers didn’t see it that way and I am also fortunate to have a good relationship with Carmelo Ezpeleta.”

Ezpeleta is the MotoGP ringmaster and very much wants a British rider in the championship, which is another thing in Crutchlow’s favour.