The Englishman won three MotoGP races for Honda during his full-time career before joining Yamaha as test rider from 2021.

In addition to development duties, Crutchlow has made ten starts as a replacement rider over the past two seasons, but Motegi will be his first official ‘wild-card’.

Yamaha has been reduced to only its factory team of Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli since the start of this year. Crutchlow’s third factory M1 will be dressed in Yamalube colours, with the team’s started aim being to ‘test various prototype parts in a MotoGP race setting and accelerate bike development’.

“Essentially, they are my test team that I work with during the season," Crutchlow said.

"We‘ve been working really hard this year to improve the bike for the Factory riders for the current season and next season.

“This wild-card will give us the opportunity to do something a little different over the course of the weekend and find the best possible set-up to help them for the Japan race weekend, the rest of the season, and potentially next year.

“I always enjoy going to Japan, to the country and the Motegi race circuit. I had a nice time visiting the Yamaha headquarters and factory, and I look forward to having a fun weekend.”

Team director Kazuhiro Masuda added: “Yamaha‘s mission is to win back the championship title again. We are strongly focused on the development of the bike, therefore we decided to take this chance of a wild-card entry.

“Cal and the engineers already strive to improve the YZR-M1 through private tests. We are convinced this wild card will be useful as additional support to the factory team.”

Although facing its toughest ever (four-stroke) MotoGP campaign, with no rider currently inside the title top ten, Yamaha arrives at its home round boosted by Quartararo’s second podium of the season, in India last weekend.

“It was a good boost for me and for the team before the home GP of Yamaha,” the Frenchman confirmed. “Going to Japan is always nice. I enjoyed the visit to the Yamaha headquarters. It is always nice to see the Yamaha employees.

“I also like the Motegi circuit. I hope we can get some more good results this weekend. We will do our best!”

Team-mate Morbidelli will be making his final Motegi appearance for Yamaha before being replaced by Alex Rins for 2024, when the Italian switches to Pramac Ducati.

“Before going to the track, I visited the headquarters of the Yamaha Motor Company in Iwata to say ‘goodbye‘ to the Yamaha employees as this is my last year with them,” he said. “It was a nice visit, and I‘m going to try to enjoy this race weekend to the fullest.”