Love him or hate him, Cal Crutchlow is currently Britain’s only representative in MotoGP but the Coventry rider has said that because of the amount of pain he is in, he cannot go on riding for much longer.
Next season, or the season after, will be the Honda man’s last and there isn’t a long queue of riders with UK passports waiting to replace him. We have three other riders in the entire paddock and only John McPhee is currently confirmed as staying for 2020.
Britain is seen as a key market by MotoGP and there is a subsidy available for teams who take on a British rider in the premier class. Which is lovely, but the big problem is you have to get them there, and that’s an expensive caper.
Going into a paid ride in Moto2 or Moto3 is nigh-on impossible. John McPhee got there with sponsorship from the now-defunct Racing Steps Foundation while Jake Dixon was able to secure a Moto2 ride on talent and his manager knowing a lot of all the right people.
But the path, as British Talent Cup winner Rory Skinner found out to his cost, for British riders to move into the GP paddock hasn’t even been dug, let alone paved with anything. But it is something that isn’t going to be fixed from this side of the fence.
If Dorna want to keep at least one Brit in the premier class then the ball is in its court. Racing in Britain is so Superbike-centric that only kids with a Swiss Bank of Mum and Dad can ever make it into CEV and then try for Moto3/2.
At the outside, Dorna has two years to make a plan and act on it. At the moment, Dixon is the only bet as McPhee won’t be able to make the jump from Moto3 to MotoGP in one hit as it is a very big ask. Jack Miller made it but it was touch and go for him for a long time.
So, it’s over to Carmelo Ezpeleta and the Dorna mandarins to make it happen. If they want to…