A new-look Monster Yamaha team will debut at this weekend's British MotoGP with home hero Cal Crutchlow parachuted in to replace Maverick Vinales.

Sensationally suspended from the second Austrian round for deliberately over-revving his engine in the opening race, Vinales - having already negotiated an end-of-year exit from Yamaha - has now left the team with immediate effect.

Filling the void, for Silverstone at least, will be factory test rider Crutchlow, who has been replacing the injured Franco Morbidelli at Petronas Yamaha for the past two rounds.

Returning to action after almost five months off a MotoGP bike, Crutchlow finished both Red Bull Ring events, albeit outside of the points in the 2019 A-Spec machine.

But the factory move means Crutchlow will now take over the latest 2021-spec bike, which he is already more familiar with from testing, and also re-join crew chief Silvano Galbusera, who was moved from the test team back to the race team from Catalunya.

"I am happy to be riding for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP at the British Grand Prix," said Crutchlow. "It was nice to get back to riding in Austria after a long time off, so I am now looking forward to racing for the Factory Team and working with my test team crew chief Silvano Galbusera and all of the team members, that I know well."

Team director Massimo Meregalli added: "We are pleased that Cal will be able to join our team for this round. We'll have extra data coming in from someone who knows Silverstone like no other."

Crutchlow took ten podiums and three wins during his full-time career. However, as he and Dani Pedrosa's results in Austria showed, a top ten would be an excellent performance for any rider jumping back into MotoGP mid-season.

But every point Crutchlow can score would be crucial for Yamaha's hopes of winning the Triple Crown of riders', constructors' and the teams' titles. As such, the factory has set Crutchlow the goal of helping the team 'collect vital data, and support their bid for the Team and Constructors' championships' this weekend.

Quartararo currently holds a commanding 47-point advantage in the riders' standings, with Monster Yamaha 37-points clear of Ducati Lenovo in the teams' ranking and Yamaha just 3 points behind Ducati in the constructors'.

Of those three titles, it is the teams' championship (rather than constructors') where the loss of Vinales, who was sixth in the world championship with one victory and two podiums, could be felt the most.

With only the top rider from each brand counting for the constructors', Yamaha had relied on Vinales' results just twice this season (Qatar  and Catalunya, after Quartararo was penalised), but the teams' championship combines the points for both riders at each race.

A 37-point lead may sound like a lot, but a perfect one-two finish brings 45 team points in a single race. With Quartararo riding alone at Austria 2, Monster Yamaha lost 16 points to Ducati Lenovo in one go, although their respective averages over the season suggest a far closer battle.

Quartararo has scored an average of 16 points per race, which compares with an average of 22 (teams) points per race by Ducati Lenovo riders Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia.

In other words, if Quartararo were to continue as the only Monster Yamaha rider to score points, the team can expect to lose an average of 6 points per race to Ducati Lenovo.

At that rate, it would take Ducati Lenovo roughly six rounds to catch Monster Yamaha – and there are currently seven rounds remaining (plus a final decision on Argentina).

As such, any points Crutchlow can score could make the difference, just as when Repsol Honda won the 2019 teams' championship by 13 points over Ducati.

World champion Marc Marquez contributed a whopping 420 of Repsol Honda's 458 points that season, but they would still have lost the teams' title if it were not for the meagre 28 points scored by struggling team-mate Jorge Lorenzo (whose injury replacement Stefan Bradl brought in 10 points).

It's still not clear if Crutchlow will now finish the season at Monster Yamaha, or if Vinales' TBC 2022 replacement Franco Morbidelli will be fast-tracked across from Petronas.

If 2020 title runner-up Morbidelli (one podium on the 2019 spec bike this year before being injured) was to finish the season alongside Quartararo, especially on the 2021 Factory-spec bike, not only would the teams' title look more safe but it would also boost Yamaha's chances in the constructors' if Quartararo has a bad race.

And that's two very good reasons why Ducati and others might well object to such a mid-season rider switch, should Yamaha need permission from its rivals via the Grand Prix Commission (and assuming Petronas Yamaha would release the Italian for such a move).

The MotoGP rules state: "A replacement rider may not be a rider currently contracted in the Championship, unless approved by the Grand Prix Commission to avoid that such substitution may be motivated by reasons other than sporting or medical (circumventing engine allocation rules, etc.)."

Another obstacle is that, barring injury, "Only one replacement of a rider will be permitted per season" - Crutchlow now being the first Vinales replacement.

Finally, reducing the need for permission from other manufacturers by attempting to switch both Morbidelli and his current 2019 A-spec bike/engine allocation over to the Monster team would also be complicated, since: "Each manufacturer must nominate one team as it’s Factory Team and each rider in that team must use the same approved engine specification."

Meanwhile, with Vinales no longer 'currently contracted in the championship' following the Yamaha split, it seems possible for the Spaniard to make an early Aprilia debut as a replacement for Lorenzo Savadori during the final rounds. Up to six wild-cards could be another option for Vinales, although the need to book such entries 'at least 90 days before the event' is a hurdle.