But will the Englishman’s workload also include more race appearances?

Crutchlow signed as test rider upon retiring from full-time competition at the end of 2020. He returned for four races as a stand-in during 2021, with a best of 16th, but was better prepared when asked to replace Andrea Dovizioso at RNF Yamaha from Misano onwards this year, scoring in four of the six events.

Highlights included matching Ducati race winner Jack Miller’s pace in the middle stages at Motegi and battling from 16th to 12th at Sepang, his best finish since Aragon 2020.

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Replacement requests aside, wild-card rides (of which three are allowed per season) could provide a valuable supplement to his Yamaha testing work for 2023.

However, the triple MotoGP race winner underlined the difficulty of dipping in and out of the world championship.

“I was lucky this year that I did two tests before coming back and I was up to speed,” Crutchlow told Crash.net. “So we'll see [for 2023].

“I don't want to come back and do a wild-card here and there next year because it's a nightmare. Whereas these six races have not been too bad because I’ve been constantly riding, from one weekend to the next.

“But if you do one wild-card and then wait six months for the next, then maybe another two months… To me, that's very difficult to do.”

‘Yamaha knew I'd grab the bull by the horns’

The 37-year-old added: “I will be doing the testing [next season] and giving my 100% like I always do. And Yamaha appreciate it. That's why they came and got me to do the job because they knew I'd grab the bull by the horns.

“Don't f*** around: If you going to do a job, you’ve got to do it right and give them direct feedback. if something’s good, I'll tell him it's good. If I think it’s rubbish, I'll tell them.

“I believe I know the direction they need to go in. I have enough experience to do that. And when I go testing, I'm not slow. That's the main thing. You have to be in a good pace. And I can do that.

“So I'll give my 100% again to that next year and then we'll see [about the wild-cards].”

'Cal tells you what he thinks!'

“It's been great to have Cal back,” Yamaha Racing manager director Lin Jarvis told Crash.net. “It was not so simple to ask him to come back, because he'd retired and was quite happy doing his testing role.

“It's probably better if I don't tell you his initial reaction! But although Cal is a character, so you'll always hear what he honestly thinks straight away, he's also very much a team player as well.

“So he understood that we were in need [after Dovizioso’s retirement] and in difficulty. And he very quickly said, ‘it's OK, I'll step up and I'll help you out.’

‘Cal showed the Yamaha is not only a bike for one rider’

“For us I would say it's been good firstly because having only had Fabio fast and the others struggling at that stage, having Cal come in and perform very well showed that the Yamaha is not only a bike for just one rider,” Jarvis continued.

“It kind of almost encouraged the other guys to step up; if Cal comes in and he can do that, you can do that too. So from that point of view, it was very good.

“Also secondly, I think the RNF team have had a very difficult year. Andrea was struggling to find the confidence on the bike after many years with Ducati, a different style of bike.

“So for the RNF team I think it was great to have Cal come in, being such an entertaining person to have around as well as a great spirit.”

‘We will need Cal more than ever’

With RNF switching to Aprilia for 2023, Yamaha will only have two full-time MotoGP riders on the grid; former world champion Fabio Quartararo and factory team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

“Only having two bikes on the grid, we will definitely need Cal more than ever before,” Jarvis said. “It’s great that during these six races Cal’s proven once again, to himself and to us, that he is still a competitive racer and still absolutely in the game.

“Next year, his testing will be even more important. Because of course we will not have the four riders every single weekend. We will not have all the data available. Maybe we'll see him do some wild-cards next year. We haven't decided yet. We don't have a fixed plan, but that's what I would like to see personally.

“We're quite confident for next year to have a better level of power and potential from the engine and that will help all Yamaha riders. And hopefully we will be able to challenge for another championship.”

Quartararo lost out on a second MotoGP title by 17 points to Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia this season, when the next best M1 rider was Morbidelli in 19th.