Not only will the MotoGP schedule increase to 21 rounds next season but the addition of half-distance Saturday Sprints will mean a total of 42 races.

“I can't imagine the 21 races you're going to do next year because it's tough going,” Crutchlow said.

“I always think that the riders get treated the best, honestly speaking. So for everyone else, it's going to be a long haul let's say - especially with the Sprint races as well.”

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The Englishman quipped: “They're not very clever, the riders, are they? They sign per season but now they've got double the number of races, as well as some more [rounds]!

“I always signed per race because you never know what's going to happen. But it also works the other way, if they cancelled a race, they could take some money away!

“But seriously, it's going to be difficult next year, as I said, and not just for the riders.”

‘18 grands prix is enough’

While Crutchlow believes the strain on paddock members is “considered” when constructing the calendar, the bottom line is, “if somebody's not happy with it, there will always be someone else who will take their job.

“They're not struggling to find people who want to be a mechanic, chef, or hospitality person. They always know they can get someone else if somebody doesn't want to do the job.

“Even the riders, if you don't want to do the job, they'll get another one. A good one, I don't know, but...

“I think [21 rounds] is too much personally, and if you speak to the riders, I would say the ones who have family also think it's difficult. But for the ones that are young, with no girlfriend, it's a different situation.

“Personally, I think 18 grands prix is enough. But I'm not the guy who's writing the rules and saying where they go or where they don't.

“As I said, there will always be somebody to replace the other person. If they said it was 30 grands prix [next year], there'd be people coming to do 30 grands prix.

“On the other hand, everyone says, ‘Formula One has more [races]’. But they have two teams [of staff]. There's one at one race and for the next race there's another group already setting up the garage.”

‘I’m like a fine wine’

With 24-front row starts during his own full-time MotoGP career, Crutchlow would once have enjoyed the intensity of a short Sprint race. But not anymore.

“Six years ago, yeah, not now!” said the 37-year-old. “I'm like a fine wine now, I get faster as the race goes on normally.

“I used to be able to do really fast laps, but now I can’t. I'm not down with the kids! For one lap, they're superb.

“If I have to come back next year and do a sprint race, I’m just going to can it because it’ll be like qualifying.

“In qualifying now, you'll do 6 [flying] laps, 7-8 if you count out and in laps where sometimes you’re pushing as well.

“At Sepang that’d nearly be half race distance [the same length as the Sprint race].”

After replacing Andrea Dovizioso at RNF for the final six races of this season, and impressing with a best finish of twelfth at Sepang, Crutchlow will focus on Yamaha test-riding duties in 2023.