Cal Crutchlow has responded to HRC boss Livio Suppo's recent comments, saying he "feels good" with the Japanese manufacturer, but is still weighing up his future options in the MotoGP class.

Speaking after the Italian Grand Prix, Suppo expressed a desire for the Englishman to remain within Honda's ranks beyond this year, saying, "For sure Cal is a good rider and we like him. He does a good job with us and he's the only rider we have with experience of another bike except Honda - the others have only been in MotoGP with Honda.

"We involve him in development and some new parts, so we are happy with him and hopefully he will continue with Lucio."

The LCR Honda rider is out of contract at the end of 2017 and has "several options on the table" to consider for '18 and beyond. "My next deal will be a two-year deal, that's for sure," revealed Crutchlow, who added the next contract he signs may "not be my last contract. I have some great stuff on the table."

In April current team owner Lucio Cecchinello revealed Crutchlow is angling for a contract with the HRC factory, rather than one with the LCR team, to which he is currently signed. This appears to be a detail still under discussion, with the two-time MotoGP race winner only offering "You'll have to wait and see. I don't know, honestly," when pressed on the intricacies of a potential Honda offer.

While not keen to reveal key details, Crutchlow stated he is not just content with his current standing ("I feel good with Honda"), but also with his racing, aided by a recent run of strong results, including a third place in Argentina, a fourth in Texas and a fifth at Le Mans.

"I've had a great working relationship with them for three years. Sure, sometimes it's been difficult to understand because I've come from other bikes where the guys who have been here have only ridden the Honda - all the four guys.

"I think I bring something to the table, sure. I've had some difficult moments trying to understand, but I've had some great moments standing on top of the podium twice. It's good to know that they want to keep me. We'll see how it goes.

"At the end of the day, I think it's clear to see that I still have great speed, I have good value to Honda with regards to information and the way I ride, and testing things and being still fast. But the options on the table are quite good as well.

"I have to weigh up the pros and cons of both, but I'm very happy with my team, Lucio does a great job, all of the guys in the garage do a great job. I've worked with them for three years. Why wouldn't I work with them again? I've had one change in three years, as in people in the garage, so they know me well and three years is as long as I've worked with anybody.

"I went five seasons changing different championships, different bikes, different crews. In the end it's nice to finally have people around me that sort of know me inside out, they know how I work. Sometimes it's not how they want to work, but you have to have a bit of give or take. I don't really want to do some of the things that Beefy wants me to do, but I have to do it.

"At the end, I am very happy with where I am. I am very happy with my life at the moment. Everything's going good. It doesn't look like it so much on the paper, but I've had some good results this year, I've had great speed this year, I'm probably riding better than last year, also."

Asked whether he was currently in discussion with other manufacturers, Crutchlow responded: "Yep. I have, and I haven't made a decision. I've got some stuff on the table and will surely have to start to think about it very soon. How soon, I don't know."

So would it take more money, better equipment or a closer working relationship with a factory to tempt him away from his current 'satellite' team?

"A combination of all," he said. "In the end, you have to think of everything in your life. Where you are, where you aren't, where you have to get to places, how you get home, how you travel.

"Like I've said a million times, it's not just about being a factory rider. The best bikes on the grid are filled by the best riders, what everybody thinks are the best riders, but if you put the situation to a lot of other riders, would they be the best riders?

"The situation of everything in their life, having three people live with them to do their washing, cook their food, maintain their cars, wash their dishes, whatever. Would that make a difference to other riders in the paddock? Probably, yeah. But I have also done it. I also know that maybe for me it doesn't work.

"At the end, I am very happy with where I am. I am very happy with my life at the moment. Everything's going good. It doesn't look like it so much on the paper, but I've had some good results this year, I've had great speed this year, I'm probably riding better than last year, also."

By Neil Morrison

Want more? CLICK HERE for the MotoGP Homepage...

Comments

Loading Comments...