Yamaha has officially announced the arrival of Cal Crutchlow as a tester in 2021. Starting with the shakedown scheduled at Sepang, Malaysia on February 14-16, Crutchlow will ride the YZR-M1. He will also participate in the official IRTA tests and other Yamaha private tests, with the aim of helping Yamaha engineers in the MotoGP development program.
Crutchlow's 10 years of experience in MotoGP, riding for three different manufacturers, make him the ideal rider for this job, said Yamaha.
A wild card appearance will be possible if deemed useful to the test schedule and Crutchlow has also confirmed his availability as a replacement in the unfortunate event that one of the Yamaha riders may be forced to miss a Grand Prix.
The Briton had won the 2009 Supersport World Championship with Yamaha. The following year he moved up to the Superbike World Championship and took ten podiums, including three wins, finishing 5th in the overall standings. This opened up the opportunity to make his MotoGP debut in 2011 with the Yamaha satellite team of the time, Tech3.
Yamaha wanted to sincerely thank Jorge Lorenzo for his availability, support and understanding during this year that has been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. Although external circumstances prevented this partnership from realizing each other's 2020 goals, the respect between the two sides remains unchanged. Yamaha wishes Jorge all the best for his future.
Lin Jarvis commented: “Well, first and foremost I would like to say 'welcome back' to Cal. I still remember Cal‘s first visit to YMR many years ago as fresh World Supersport Champion and recall he expressed his desire to move onwards and upwards to MotoGP in the future. After the initial move to Superbikes, he then spent three seasons with us in the Monster Energy Yamaha Tech3 team before moving on to gain a further seven years of experience with two of our main competitors. This wealth of experience, coupled with Cal‘s honest no-nonsense approach, will surely benefit us greatly as we strive to improve our YZR-M1 bikes with a full testing programme next year.”
“Of course, we had planned and hoped for a strong programme this year with Jorge. Unfortunately, our Factory Test Team soon had to put their plans on hold as the Covid-19 pandemic started and continued to influence 2020 from March onwards. It‘s regrettable that we have not been able to carry out our testing programme and realize our goals. We wish Jorge all the best in his future endeavours, and we thank him for his many years of collaboration with Yamaha.”