Crutchlow backtracks on end-of-2020 MotoGP retirement thoughts

Lewis Duncan
Crutchlow backtracks on 2020 retirement thoughts

Cal Crutchlow admits "there's no reason why I won't be racing" in MotoGP in 2021, having previously said that he expected his current contract to be his last.

The LCR rider stepped up to the premier class from World Superbikes in 2011 with Tech3, and has gone onto win three races in that time.

Currently contracted directly to Honda with the LCR squad until the end of 2020, Crutchlow told Autosport last year that he "physically" felt like his days in MotoGP were numbered - but that "mentally" he felt he could continue.

Despite a largely difficult 2019 on the RC213V, which yielded just three podiums, 34-year-old Crutchlow says his motivation is "greater than ever" and feels he will extend his career.

Keen to remain with Honda-backed LCR, Crutchlow admits he will open dialogue with other manufacturers when racing resumes this year.

"Last year I said maybe that 2020 would be my last year in racing," Crutchlow said in a vlog posted on motogp.com.

"But my motivation at the end of last year was greater than ever.

"My motivation now is the same, so there's no reason why I won't be racing next year in MotoGP.

Crutchlow backtracks on 2020 retirement thoughts

"I am in a situation with probably 80% of the riders in the paddock in that at the moment we're not racing, so talks to continue with manufacturers or with especially Honda [are not happening].

"I'm happy in my team, my team have done a fantastic job over the years, but I will also be speaking to other teams and other manufacturers certainly in the coming months when we start the season, and we'll see how that goes.

"It doesn't mean I will race, it doesn't mean I will stop.

"But I still feel I've got a lot to give in MotoGP, I can still be competitive and be able to fight.

"Maybe these are the best years of my MotoGP [career]."

Crutchlow ended 2019 ninth in the standings, and proved to be the only other Honda rider other than world champion Marc Marquez to get the troubled RC213V to the podium.

At the end of last year, Crutchlow revealed that crew members HRC moved from his side of the LCR garage to aid now-retired works Honda man Jorge Lorenzo would not be returned, and instead will form part of rookie Alex Marquez's team.

Crutchlow endured a tough winter on the new Honda, which in Malaysia he said was "maybe worse" at turning than its already difficult predecessor.

His struggled continued into the Qatar test, where he ended up 18th overall - though a switch to the 2019-spec aerodynamic package on the final day seemed to somewhat transform his fortunes to the point where he expected to have a strong season-opening race before it was cancelled.

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