“I’m still fast, I want Aprilia 2021 MotoGP ride” - Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow makes his pitch for the potentially vacant Aprilia Racing ride for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, insisting he'd be an ideal choice

Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda, Aprilia

Cal Crutchlow has made an official pitch to land the potentially available Aprilia Racing ride for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, insisting he is ‘still fast and able to ride in a good way’.

Crutchlow faces an exit from the LCR Honda team at the end of the season following the news Alex Marquez will switch for 2021 and the anticipated confirmation of Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami as his team-mate.

The Briton, who has competed with LCR Honda since 2015, has enjoyed his best career results with the satellite team across his ten seasons of MotoGP competition, including three race victories.

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However, he is in the midst of his most challenging campaign yet, underlined by a wrist injury that ruled him out of the opening round in Spain and now complications from arm pump surgery that has him sidelined for this weekend’s sixth MotoGP round at Misano. 

To date he has scored only seven points and is last of all the full-time riders in the overall standings, while he has been roundly out-performed by Nakagami on the year-old Honda RC213V.

Despite this, Crutchlow believes he still has a lot to offer in MotoGP and is duly setting his sights firmly on an Aprilia MotoGP seat alongside Aleix Espargaro, which will be available if Andrea Iannone’s drugs suspension appeal is unsuccessful

"I want to be able to ride in a good way. I'm still fast. I proved that yesterday morning [eighth fastest], with one arm, on a very difficult bike at this track," Crutchlow told sister website Crash.net.

"What will be, will be. If there is an opportunity for me to ride next year - obviously yes, I still want to do the Aprilia option and go to Aprilia, if I can go to Aprilia.

"I think it would be a great relationship for me and the team. I think I can do a good job. I think that the bike has the potential to be on the podium and it would be good to be able to do that."

What are Cal Crutchlow’s chances of the Aprilia MotoGP ride?

Success depends on more than one factor working in Crutchlow’s favour at this stage.

For a start he would need to wait for Iannone’s case to be heard, one that has already been delayed to October, as well as the team’s probable default alternative option Andrea Dovizioso deciding against joining from Ducati.

Regarding Dovizioso, the Italian is unlikely to wait until October to find out whether he has a chance of a ride. As such, if he is indeed interested and Aprilia can secure him, expect an announcement well before that - if not, then an unsuccessful appeal puts Crutchlow in pole position.

Alternatively, WorldSBK teams are certainly interested in luring the Briton back to the series and it is known Honda has been pushing hard to shift him to its burgeoning factory effort. Crutchlow has spoken with some incredulity initially about the prospect of swapping MotoGP back for WorldSBK, but appears to have warmed to the idea more recently.

Of all the teams on the WorldSBK grid too, Crutchlow’s wage aspirations are most likely to be matched by HRC, while it keeps him in the Honda realm for when it might need an experienced rider to step back into MotoGP - something it desperately needs at the moment.