Crutchlow is currently sidelined as he recovers from wrist surgery following his crash during warm-up at last weekend’s Spanish GP at Jerez, but he also has to consider his possible future long term, with his impending move away from the HRC Honda Team forcing him to review his options.
He says he’s “not really interested” in taking up Honda’s offer to move over to its works-backed World Superbike Championship project next season.
HRC has confirmed Crutchlow’s upcoming exit, with Spain’s Alex Marquez being moved to take his place while fellow Spaniard Pol Espargaro switches from KTM to the factory Honda squad in 2021.
While Crutchlow has expressed interest at a move to Aprilia, and says he has spoken to Ducati about a possible return, Honda boss Alberto Puig said that the offer of a WSBK move is there if he wants it.
“Honda has a World Superbike team and there’s always a chance for him if he wants to contemplate this option, with our new bike, because also the target of Honda in WSBK is to get the title in the near future,” said Puig.
Crutchlow says he doesn’t see a return to WSBK – where he raced in 2010 – as a “downgrade”, but his focus remains on staying in MotoGP.
“Well, it’s because they want me to do it, that’s why he [Puig] threw it in,” Crutchlow said of Puig’s WSBK comments.
“While there’s things in MotoGP that I want to do, I’ll continue to ride here.
“I never say never, I’ve just said I’m not really interested to go to World Superbike.
“I think I’ve had a great career in MotoGP. I don’t look at it as downgrading.
“People think if I got to World Superbikes it’s downgrading – I don’t look at it like that.
“I look at it as it’s a great championship, it’s got some great riders in it and it’s something that a lot of people would want to do.
“But at this moment I don’t want to do it. Whether that changes with the situation here, I don’t know. If you ask me now, as I said to you before, I see myself continuing in MotoGP.”
Crutchlow has held discussions with other teams in MotoGP for some time while renegotiating with Honda.
Though unsure if Honda is “the best place” for him to do the best job he can, the triple MotoGP race winner admits he “probably” would have stayed had the option been there.
“It was more of a mutual thing that I was speaking to other teams,” he added.
“I wanted to speak to other teams. Yes, I was speaking to Honda about continuing, but I want to see what else is out there for me to try and do the best job I can.
“Is Honda the best place for me to do that? I don’t know, so that’s why I was already looking to maybe do something else.
“But as I said, I’ve had great years at Honda, and if I had the option to continue, would I have continued?
“Yes, probably, because I know the team, I know the bike and I would have tried to improve it from what it is now.”
Photo courtesy HRC Honda
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