Bad form may convince LCR Honda’s Crutchlow to extend MotoGP career

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow says his slump in MotoGP form means he is unlikely to retire at the end of 2020 as he is keen to prove himself.

Crutchlow has endured a mixed campaign aboard the 2019-specification Honda RC213V and has struggled in recent races, crashing at Misano and finishing Buriram in 12th.

He has openly talked about his current two-year deal potentially being his last, noting the physical strain MotoGP is taking on his body, he insists his recent poor form could motivate him to continue past 2020.

“Now I’m going the full opposite [with my future] – I want to continue because I want to prove that I have the speed, and I’m able to win,” Crutchlow said at Buriram.

“Maybe it’s not great at the minute, so I need to extend [my career].

“If I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and I have the speed, then I’ll stop.

“If I don’t [have the speed], then maybe I have to prove again that I can [do it].

“Well I won’t be ending this year anyway, I’ve still got next year. But I’m more looking at what they’ll be able to bring next year than what we can do this year, to be honest.”

Crutchlow has previously acknowledged he has already talked about a new deal with Honda.

And while Crutchlow admits he will probably have to decide his future in early 2020 like most riders, he is convinced LCR and Honda would be happy to keep him “for as long as I want”.

Asked by Autosport if he would consider non-Honda MotoGP options for 2021, Crutchlow said: “I plan to continue with Honda if I do continue”.

Crutchlow reiterated that making “an easier bike to ride, from leaving the pitlane to the end of the weekend” should be the priority for Honda for 2020.

“The bike is just so hard and physical to ride, you can’t imagine,” said Crutchlow.

“Jorge [Lorenzo] said it immediately, and as I told you, I agreed with him at the time and I still agree with him now.

“The bike has its strong points, has its positive points – [for example] the corner entry. But we’ve lost [in that area] since last year, because of the instability of the engine brake on the bike.

“Last year we were able to probably brake deeper and keep the corner speed, where now we can still brake deep but not keep the corner speed.”

Crutchlow said he was “more positive than negative” about Honda’s 2020 prototype when trialling it in testing at Misano and Brno.

Asked if he believed it would address the physicality issue, he said: “I think the more full package will be towards the end of the year, then we’ll understand a bit more.”

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