2010 World Superbike Championship (WSBK) debutant Cal Crutchlow has admitted that he was very nearly tempted down the Moto2 route rather than continuing his relationship with Yamaha next year.
After five victories and a staggering ten pole positions from just 14 starts yielded World Supersport Championship (WSS) title glory this year at his maiden attempt, Crutchlow was always going to be in strong contention to graduate to WSBK with the Japanese manufacturer in 2010 – provided
a ride was available.
However, with 2009 WSBK Champion Ben Spies and team-mate Tom Sykes both looking at one stage like they might stay on-board for a second season, the 24-year-old began to examine his options, with Moto2 featuring high up on the list. Negotiations were even held with Gresini Honda – but in the eventuality of Spies stepping on up to MotoGP and Sykes being shown the door, Yamaha found itself in a position to honour its contract with Crutchlow, and from that point on all other discussions were rendered academic.
“Going to World Superbikes is good for me,” the Coventry-born star told Crash.net Radio
, “because it lets me stay with Yamaha. They had a two-year deal with me, but they never told me whether they wanted to keep me in Superbikes or not – and if they didn't have a place for me in Superbikes, I was allowed to leave, simple as that.
“That's why I went down the whole going to Gresini route, and that's what I evidently wanted to do because I wanted to go into GP racing, and I felt I could have gone into the Moto2 championship and won straightaway. I was very, very confident of that, especially if I was able to take my crew with me from this year.
“Yamaha said to me they wanted to keep me for Superbikes, and I accepted that and am now looking forward to the challenge. I've got a job to do and that's it. I've got a new Yamaha contract now, and hopefully that will take me to MotoGP in the end if I do a good enough job; even if I don't, I can always look at Moto2 the year after, but my job is fully focussed on working hard and getting some good results in World Superbikes.”
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