Is Cal Crutchlow coming round to idea of MotoGP to WorldSBK switch?

Cal Crutchlow appears to be coming round to the idea of switching to the WorldSBK Championship in 2021 as part of a deal to remain with Honda

Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda [1200]
Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda [1200]

Cal Crutchlow has backtracked on his own dismissal of a WorldSBK Championship switch for 2021, intimating he will consider a move to the productions series if he has no further options in MotoGP.

The Briton is expected to exit the LCR Honda team at the end of the 2020 MotoGP season after Alex Marquez was confirmed with the Monegasque-based team for 2021, though Takaaki Nakagami hasn’t been formally announced as yet either.

Nonetheless, with the Japanese rider – who recently scored a career-best fourth in Jerez on a year-old RC213V – considered almost certain to retain his seat in the team, Crutchlow has publicly admitted he will probably on his way out of the team.

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His only options to continue racing in MotoGP centre around an unlikely move to Ducati or a switch to Aprilia, but only if Andrea Iannone’s appeal against a drugs ban goes against him.

Alternatively, Crutchlow is being courted by WorldSBK teams and it is known an offer from Honda has been made, one that would have the double purpose of keeping him in the Japanese manufacturer’s fold and give it a significant weapon for its title offensive.

To date Crutchlow has been dismissive of the prospect of swapping to WorldSBK but it appears he could now be having a change of heart as he weighs up his options.

“As long as there are pleasant things I can do in MotoGP, I will continue racing in MotoGP,” he is quoted as saying by Moto.it. “It is true, I recently said that I am not interested in the Superbike world championship, but now I am no longer so sure.

“I had a great career in MotoGP, but going beyond it would not be a step back, because the WSBK is also a great championship. So never say never."

Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda 1200
Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda 1200

Will Cal Crutchlow switch to WorldSBK for 2021?

Until Crutchlow signs on the dotted line somewhere, it’s prudent to not take anything he says as gospel. In the last 12 months we’ve heard he’ll retire, then continue, dismiss WorldSBK and now show interest again. Then of course there is the potential option of Aprilia.

Regardless of Crutchlow’s opinion on WorldSBK, there is a rather tempting deal on offer for him with Honda, one that could benefit them both in different ways. 

For Honda it keeps an experienced potential ‘super sub’ on its books just in case, while Crutchlow would certainly be a major asset for its WorldSBK effort given his relatively unusual bonus of having competed – and won - on prototype and production machinery over the years.

For Crutchlow, it’s a way to stay within the Honda realm – and could potentially include a lucrative reserve and testing role – as well as a chance to prove he can be a world championship title contending rider.

With Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding showing their mettle in WorldSBK, Crutchlow would certainly look at this as an opportunity to show what he’s capable of in full factory surroundings. 

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