Cal Crutchlow has tipped Suzuki's MotoGP rookie Maverick Vinales as one of the riders to beat in a few years.

Vinales, a former Moto3 world champion and Moto2 race winner, has scored points in all six of his premier-class races to date, including seventh place at Mugello on Sunday.

Speaking the night before that result, Crutchlow said of the 20-year-old Spaniard: "Vinales is a very, very good rider - very smooth - and will be really hard to beat in MotoGP in a couple of years."

Related Articles

The pace of Vinales and team-mate Aleix Espargaro, who qualified fifth on the grid at Mugello, came despite the GSX-RR's clear top speed disadvantage at the fastest circuit on the calendar.

"They have a good bike for sure and it's nice to see another manufacturer able to be competitive," Crutchlow said. "It's slow but not so slow and if you have the chassis and the tyre to get out of the corner onto the straight it's not so bad. We had the same sort of speed difference at Tech 3."

Suzuki are set to receive a boost in the form of engine upgrades at the next round in Catalunya, however Crutchlow warned: "Horsepower can also create problems, unless it's in fifth or sixth gear at the end of the main straight. Because I don't think they need more horsepower from first to fourth."

Casting his eye on the lower classes, Crutchlow also picked out two names that he hopes will join MotoGP in the near future. But the Englishman doesn't expect anyone to repeat the instant success enjoyed by Marc Marquez in 2013.

"I'm not saying this in a bad way, but I don't see anybody in Moto3 or Moto2 really like Marc, or Maverick, at the moment. I think sure we're going to see Rins and Sam [Lowes] in MotoGP - as soon as possible would be really good, because the sooner you can start to learn a MotoGP bike the better. Because nobody is going to come into MotoGP like Marc did."

While Vinales claimed his best result in Italy, Crutchlow - the only non-factory team rider to stand on the podium so far this season - suffered a dislocated ankle after a fast race fall from his CWM LCR Honda.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

Even MM was a bit lucky Casey retired freeing up the Repsol bike for his first year

Not many debut in that Team in the premier class