Cal Crutchlow's sights are set on remaining in MotoGP by moving to Aprilia for 2021.

The Englishman has lost his LCR Honda ride to Alex Marquez, while Aprilia is the only factory team with a seat still available, pending the outcome of Andrea Iannone's appeal against an 18-month doping ban.

Swelling from recent arm pump surgery has forced the triple MotoGP race winner to withdraw from both Misano rounds. But electing for such an aggressive mid-season operation, to cure a forearm issue that only exists when pushing a MotoGP bike to the limit, does not fit with someone planning to retire at the end of November.

"I want to be able to ride in a good way. I'm still fast. I proved that yesterday morning [eighth fastest], with one arm, on a very difficult bike at this track," Crutchlow said of next season.

"What will be, will be. If there is an opportunity for me to ride next year - obviously yes, I still want to do the Aprilia option and go to Aprilia, if I can go to Aprilia.

"I think it would be a great relationship for me and the team. I think I can do a good job. I think that the bike has the potential to be on the podium and it would be good to be able to do that."

Iannone's CAS appeal is set to be heard in mid-October, with test rider Bradley Smith currently replacing the Italian.

Aleix Espargaro will remain at Aprilia next season, whose RS-GP machine has a best MotoGP result of sixth place.

Andrea Dovizioso, leaving Ducati at the end of this season, is another high profile rider available for 2021.

Asked if he thought Crutchlow was the right man for the job next year, Espargaro replied: "There's doubt about how fast Cal is. So what I want is a very fast guy at my side. I don't really need a fast guy to be motivated, but when you have a super-strong guy at your side it's easier to try new things. Sometimes you can go to one track where you struggle and you can compare the data.

"So Cal has proven in the last years that he's one of the strongest riders on the grid and even if now he's not having his best moment due to the crashes and injuries, there's no doubt about his performance. If Aprilia is talking to Dovi and Cal it's a good sign, because they are two really good riders. And again, 2021, is a very important year for us. This is the best bike I believe Aprilia has ever built in the MotoGP era. So in 2021 we have to keep growing."

 

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