For the first time in eleven years there will be no British rider on the MotoGP grid - a stark contrast from 2018 when Cal Crutchlow, Scott Redding and Bradley Smith all represented the UK.  

LCR Honda have replaced Crutchlow with Alex Marquez for the 2021 season, while Aprilia decided to choose Lorenzo Savadori over Smith, leaving the 30 year-old in limbo regarding his future. 

Crutchlow will still be a present fixture as he begins his new test rider role with Yamaha today at the official MotoGP shakedown in Qatar and wild-card races remain a possiblility.

But asked about having no full-time British rider on the grid, Crutchlow said: "Obviously it’s sad for British fans not to have a British rider racing in MotoGP this year. It’s sad for MotoGP. Historically they have had some good British riders over the years.

"It’s disappointing not to see a Brit on the grid. I thought the same as everybody else: that Brad would be racing for Aprilia but I’m not surprised about the news because as we know teams from manufacturers make different decisions, and strange decisions sometimes. Bradley can ride a motorcycle and he’s been competitive over the years and a good test rider as well. I think his work ethic is very good."

Crutchlow does not believe it should be too much of a concern, as both Moto2 and Moto3 are well repsresented with British talent. 

"Do we have to be worried about British riders coming into MotoGP? I don’t know. Obviously we have good talent in the Moto2 and Moto3 class [and] hopefully some of those guys will be able to make the step up, or the step back up in Sam Lowes;’ case," added Crutchlow.

"The guys he was battling with last year came to MotoGP so it shows he has the talent and the speed to be here as well."

The next rider to get an opportunity in MotoGP could be Jake Dixon, who was quickly emerging as one of the better riders in Moto2 before picking up a wrist injury at Valencia.

Crutchlow believes Dixon could get the opportunity to move up to MotoGP with the Petronas team, but hinted at what he needs to achieve for that to happen. "Yeah, definitely and it all depends on what happens with their [Petronas] rider line-up in the future.

"He has a great shot to slot into that and we also have to see how he gets on in Moto2, essentially you have to be winning races and be on the podium to get that shot."

One of the major storylines in 2020 was the well documented injury to Marc Marquez. Crutchlow spent six seasons with Honda and knows the Spanish rider very well.

Crutchlow was asked about the Honda man and his return in 2021, to which he said: "Marc Marquez is Marc Marquez. When he comes back then it is never to be slow. We all look forward to and anticipating him to ride as soon as possible and I think he knows to take his time and come back.

"He’s not going to be a slow rider but it will take him time to re-adapt. You say that about Marc but then he could be fastest after three laps! You never know. I think even the riders want him to come back."