Cal Crutchlow has said he was “not surprised at all” to hear of the speculation linking Jorge Lorenzo away from Honda and insisted it would “make no difference” to his situation if a seat in the Repsol team became available for 2020.

The Briton likened the rumours linking Lorenzo to Jack Miller’s place in Pramac Ducati to a “soap opera” and said the Australian or Takaaki Nakagami would be more likely to command a spot in the Repsol team ahead of him.

As the 33-year old pointed out, Crutchlow has had a long-term relationship with Monster Energy (Red Bull partly sponsors Repsol Honda), and he remains completely content with his current ‘factory contract’ which sees him compete on near identical equipment to Marc Marquez in Lucio Cecchinello's LCR squad.

“I'm not surprised at all. He [Lorenzo] wants to win and I don't think he thinks he can win on the Honda just at the moment, so if the rumour is true to leave,” he said.

“But maybe Ducati are using it to their advantage with Jack, like they did with Danilo maybe. Maybe that's what's happening, I don't know. But at the end of the day, at the moment it doesn't affect me, I don't think it will affect me anyway.”

Would a move to Repsol Honda not interest him? “Like I said earlier on, I've had a Monster Energy deal for 12 years, and I have a factory contract, my contract is as good as riding in that Repsol Honda garage, I can tell you that.

“But that being said, I ride for Honda. And I also am very respectful of their decisions, and if it's something that needs to be discussed, it will be discussed.

“At the moment, I have a factory contract but I ride for Lucio, and I have to respect him and his team. He's done me very proud over the last five, six years. And that's all there is to be said on my side.

“It makes absolutely no difference to me what is going on. I feel bad for Jack, because he is riding absolutely fantastic at the moment. At the end of the day, this is the problem with this game, you can be on the podium one week and out of a job the next.

“That's just the way things can work. That's where I've been very lucky in my career with regards to making podiums, etc, and making them at the right time, when you need to make them. And that's the truth.”

Is there a situation whereby he could foresee a future switch to the factory team? “As I said, I have to speak with them if the situation is the situation, but at the moment, I haven't spoken to them about anything other than going faster on the bike I'm on now, improving the bike for next year.

“But there is a big conflict in my interests. I have a great team. My deal is a factory contract, probably better than most of the factory guys on this grid, and I ride for Lucio, and I love riding for Lucio. I love my team and my garage.

“In the end, you always think the grass is always greener, but would I do it just to put on an orange suit? I don't know. You'd have to ask me if it comes on the table.”

Should Lorenzo leave and join Ducati, what would Crutchlow advise Honda to do? “Just go and sign Jack! Jack only wants a one-year deal anyway, to put everyone back in line. Go and sign Jack, he'll give his all.”

Crutchlow also moved to clarify his comments from last weekend on whether team-mate Nakagami deserved a 2020 bike for next season.

“On the subject of Taka, a lot of press made a big deal about what I said last week. But you have to understand from my side but from my side, when I got a factory bike, I'd had 3 race wins and 9 podiums.

“So if you ask me a question, why should he get a factory bike, I think that if I asked you outside of this media, you would say the same as me. I have had to earn it, I already had the contract, maybe I just never had the absolute latest bike, I had to make all that to get the latest bike.

“In my opinion, he has made one fifth place. He's riding well, as I said last week, but the media make it that I've turned around and said, no he doesn't deserve it. In my eyes, I had to do this to get a factory bike, so why should he just get it?”



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