After 21 seasons there will be no Andrea Dovizioso on the track, after the farewell of Misano. In place of him an old acquaintance: Cal Crutchlow.
The long chapter of Andrea Dovizioso, in the Yamaha RNF pits from this weekend in Aragon there will be test rider Cal Crutchlow flanked by his crew chief Silvano Galbusera. Six races will be useful for the Iwata manufacturer to collect data with its British tester, to already focus attention on the prototype of the M1 2023. From next year there will be only two Yamahas on the track, so data collection will be important for the Japanese team. .
Crutchlow ran 4 races last season, first to replace Franco Morbidelli struggling with knee surgery, then Maverick Vinales, who terminated his contract well in advance in August. Four difficult GPs in which he did not collect even a point, but it must be emphasized that he had not ridden a MotoGP for almost six months. This time Cal will be in a better physical condition, even if picking up certain levels of pace will not be easy at all.
Crutchlow at work on the Yamaha M1 2023
It was in Aragon that he ran his last race in the premier class in 2021, and after a year he returns to the same track. “It will certainly be difficult to come back and be competitive, but that doesn’t mean we won’t give 100 percent“. In recent days she spoke during the podcast ‘Last on the brakes‘by Motogp.com, the Coventry rider remembers his first outing in Austria with the M1. “I got on my bike and almost hit the pit wall on my way out, so I fell down the pitlane (laughs). I got out of the pitlane, accelerated and hit my head because of the speed… This year I hope it’s a bit different“.
He withdrew from the MotoGP at the end of 2020 to devote more time to his family, but he never left the slopes for good. For the second consecutive year he holds the role of Yamaha test rider, carrying out several private tests in Japan. Everything will be different on the race weekend, with riders reaching unthinkable levels as long as he was still on the grid.
Cal Crutchlow will inherit the Yamaha M1’s Andrea Dovizioso, will be able to count on a good knowledge of the technical staff, with whom he has already worked in 2021. He will participate in six Grands Prix and two tests, eight weeks of great maneuvers await after a long period of partial professional tranquility. “It will be an intense period. I went from being the least committed person to probably the most committed … We are focused on the 2023 bike to make things easier for our riders“. And for the fans it will be the right occasion to enjoy his inexhaustible “British humor”.