2011 MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow believes his two-year deal with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team is perfectly timed, since it will allow the World Superbike star to get up to speed by the start of the new 1000cc era.

Next year will be the fifth and final season of racing with 800cc MotoGP bikes, which the Englishman intends to use as a learning year before engine-size switches to the same capacity as he currently uses in WSBK.

"I've always said that going now is the perfect time to go, because I've got a year learning the circuits and a year learning the team and my MotoGP bike," explained Crutchlow. "And then, the second year, everyone's got to start learning again.

"So I'm already a step a little bit closer because they've got to start learning 1000s again, and the people who weren't on 1000s before have got to learn [from scratch].

"I think it's going to make it easier in the second year because everybody has got to learn."

Crutchlow, winner of two races for Yamaha in his rookie WSBK season and fifth in the championship with two rounds to go, will be the only British rider in MotoGP next year - the UK having been unrepresented on the 2010 grid.

The 2009 World Supersport champion - currently team-mate to Britain's last MotoGP rider, James Toseland, who left the series at the end of last year - admits there is 'big pressure' from the passionate UK fans to perform. And it's pressure he intends to live up to.

"There's always big pressure. I want to be the best British MotoGP rider there's been in recent times, because there'd be no point in going into it if I didn't want to be that," said Crutchlow, who is following in the footsteps of countryman Toseland and Neil Hodgson.

"And there'd be no point in me lining up on the grid if I didn't want to be the best. You go into a race to win. You go into a championship to do well. And if I had no ambition, then I'd be stupid to be even turning up to the race.

"So of course, the character of MotoGP riders of the UK haven't done so well and came back in World Superbike quite quickly or whatever. I think I want to stay in MotoGP and do well. And I feel that I've got the determination and the mental energy to do so.

"I think I got [to MotoGP] quite fast, so I've had the determination and ambition to do that, so there's no reason why I shouldn't have it to do well in MotoGP in the end."

Crutchlow will replace Ben Spies - his predecessor at the Sterilgarda Yamaha WSBK squad who is moving to the factory Yamaha MotoGP team after two podiums and one pole so far in 2010. Crutchlow believes the success of Spies shows WSBK riders can make in MotoGP.

"Ben threw that theory [about WSBK riders struggling in MotoGP] out the window and he's jumped in there as a Superbike rider for the last four or five years and done fantastically well," he said.

"I don't necessarily think it's about Superbike riders. I think it's about the riders that get on, if they can do it or not, and if they want to do it. And Ben's showing he's got the determination to do it, and he's doing a fantastic job.

"So I think if I can go in there with the same attitude he's got, then I'll go in there and do well as well. Hopefully, we'll do good in the first year," concluded the 25-year-old.


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