Cal Crutchlow ‘likely’ to do three MotoGP wild-cards

After a single wild-card entry in 2023, Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow says it is 'likely' he will make three MotoGP race appearances next season.
Cal Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP test, 28 November
Cal Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP test, 28 November

The newly announced revised MotoGP concessions system means Yamaha and Honda are now allowed up to six wild-cards.

But triple MotoGP race winner Crutchlow, who joined Yamaha as test rider at the end of 2020, says Yamaha is currently sticking to the old maximum of three.

“It’s all pretty new. With the [new concession] rules there are a lot of different scenarios that could happen,” Crutchlow told Dorna’s Jack Appleyard during the Valencia test.

“But we already had a plan that I’d most likely do three wild-cards. I don’t think I’ll do anymore. But things change, as the rules change!

“I know two of the wild-cards, but one [other] is under negotiation because I definitely don’t want to do it! So we’re trying to swing it around a little bit.”

Crutchlow’s 2023 wild-card was at Yamaha’s home event at Motegi.

As well as doubling the number of potential wild-cards, the ‘D’ concession ranking for Yamaha and Honda also provides for extra testing tyres, private testing with race riders and testing at any grand prix circuit.

But Crutchlow feels the biggest issue for Yamaha at present is the lack of a satellite team, with every other MotoGP manufacturer having at least four bikes on the grid.

“The thing that Yamaha lack is bikes on track,” Crutchlow said. “We have two bikes [factory team], so we need to do all the tests that we can do in the pre-season, whereas in the past couple of seasons we haven’t done that.

“I think that really hinders the guys when they get to the first race. The other manufacturers have up to eight bikes going around at the same time, and test riders. Hopefully we can start next year better."

Crutchlow was 20th fastest at the Valencia test, directly behind new Yamaha signing Alex Rins.

Fabio Quartararo was the fastest M1 in twelfth place.

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