LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was brutally honest in his assessment of team-mate Taka Nakagami and his desire to secure a factory RC213V for 2020 after the opening day of MotoGP free practice in Brno.
Nakagami and his camp are in negotiations with HRC regarding the Japanese riders 2020 plans. Sitting in twelfth in the World Championship after some impressive rides, Nakagami is pushing to be on a similar package to that of Crutchlow. The Brit however, doesn’t think that his team-mate has earned it quite yet.
“No, he doesn’t deserve it I don’t think,” said Crutchlow when asked.
“But at the moment I’m not going to really say anything good about him at the moment because my relationship with him is not fantastic, but it’s Honda’s decision.
“I don’t think he deserves it. He’s had one fifth place in all the races. It’s Honda’s decision, he’s Japanese, it’s good for him to be riding a Honda. I’ve always said all year, he’s complaining about his bike not being the same as what we have now, but I honestly believe he’d be slower on our bike than what he is now.
“Just because he went faster in the Barcelona test means nothing. He also had a tyre that was worth one second a lap.
When asked what Nakagami could do in order to deserve it, Crutchlow said: “Fight for the top six every week and be on the podium, which he’s yet to do.
“I have to say in his defence, it was not easy for the other rookies last year on the Honda either.”
The Brit ended the day eighth fastest on his factory backed LCR RC213V, just over two tenths of a second ahead of his Japanese team mate.