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8 days ago

Crutchlow: “If I wake up and don’t want to ride, I won’t”

The Brit sits down with MCN to discuss the future, the title fight and MotoGP™ in 2017

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow caught up with MCN ahead of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, sitting down for a Q&A on Facebook Live. First talking through his own race in Australia, the Brit gives some thoughts on what he thinks will happen this weekend – picking out Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) as two very strong riders at Sepang. He also talks about the challenges, now, of going into each weekend with such unpredictability.

“It’s great to go into a weekend not knowing what’s going to happen,” says the Brit. “It’s not good for us as riders, it makes it difficult but it’s great for the Championship and it’s great for the guys and girls watching at home. But it’s enjoyable. I think MotoGP again this year has proved why it’s the biggest and best.”

This season has seen some incredible battles once again, and the stage seems set for that to continue into the future. Next season, there will be someone joining that fight on the other side of the LCR Honda garage as Crutchlow gets a teammate for the first time since 2015. So how does he feel about Takaaki Nakagami making the step up?

“It’ll be nice for me to have a teammate,” affirms the two-time GP winner. “I’m looking forward to it. He’s a good guy, speaks fluent English and fluent Italian, he’s a good kid. I think he’ll surprise a few people. He’s already ridden the bike and he was fast, he’s a lot faster on a MotoGP bike than Moto2, which is good. We have a big organisation and it’ll be good to bring him in as a teammate… and teach him the bad things as soon as he arrives!”

The LCR rider then goes on to talk about his future, his plans and what he may do after racing – with everything solely depending on his enjoyment of the sport he loves. “I’ve always said as soon as I stop enjoying racing, I’ll stop,” explains the Brit. “But I have a new two year contract and I still love racing, there’s no doubt about that. But if on any day in those two years I wake up and I don’t want to ride, I won’t ride and I’ve always said that. I’ll give that opportunity to someone else.”

Not having any interest in making up the numbers is a theme that extends to when he hangs up his leathers, with Crutchlow uninterested in doing that elsewhere in the paddock once he stops riding. “I don’t think I would want to be a Team Manager or come back into the paddock just to say I’m in the paddock. There are a lot of people in the paddock who are still doing it for no reason, with family at home and 50 million in the bank. Maybe they love it, but I think a lot of them want to just be here and be on TV. I won’t. I thought about helping other riders or kids, but I think I’d be too hard on them! I know how hard it is and I know how hard I work. I have thought about it but I don’t know. I don’t think I will. I love the sport but I don’t think I’ll be in the paddock.”

He remains very much in the paddock for the Malaysian GP, however - and will be looking to restart a solid run of form after getting back in the fight at the front at Phillip Island.