If Maverick Vinales, currently suspended by Yamaha for deliberately over-revving his engine, doesn't return for Silverstone, a rumoured reshuffle could see Cal Crutchlow drafted into the Official team and countryman Jake Dixon making a surprise MotoGP debut at Petronas.

As Yamaha's official test rider, Crutchlow is the obvious choice to step in alongside world championship leader Fabio Quartararo should Yamaha make Vinales' suspension permanent.

But Crutchlow, who retired from full-time racing at the end of last year, is already replacing the injured Franco Morbidelli at SRT.

With the Italian not due back until Misano, a Crutchlow switch would leave Petronas needing a new substitute to join Valentino Rossi at Silverstone and Aragon.

And that new rider might just be SRT's own Jake Dixon, currently competing for the Malaysian outfit in the Moto2 class.

Crutchlow refused to comment on 'whether Dixon is or isn't riding the bike' at Silverstone – and it's worth noting that if Yamaha splits from Vinales now, they could well be surrendering any hope of keeping their lead in the teams' world championship - but added:

"Is he [Dixon] ready to ride the bike? I don’t know. It's difficult to say. I wasn’t ready to ride [in Austria] but I did and I think if he does rides, it'll be good for him, he'll go well.

"The bike around Silverstone is quite easy, I would say, even when I rode the bike back in 2011-2012-2013 - well I didn't ride '11, I was in hospital - '12 and '13 the bike was good around Silverstone.

"It's a lot more flowing than this track. A completely different situation to coming here and trying to ride on a track that you're fighting a losing battle with really.

"If he comes and rides, then I'm sure he'll enjoy it."

Crutchlow was speaking after the conclusion of the second Red Bull Ring race, where he repeated his 17th place from the previous week on the 2019 A-Spec M1.

"Track conditions were not fantastic, as you can see from the lap times last week to this week, just because it was hotter," Crutchlow said. "But overall I think we made a step in the right direction.

"I made a mistake and ran wide in one corner which cost me a bit of the tow to Danilo, and then I had a problem with the electronics on the bike.

"Out of the last corner the bike kept really not accelerating, like the power was dying when I was opening the throttle. It was because I changed the map, it seems something was wrong with the map, so I changed the map again and the same thing was happening.

"So I had to go back to the first map and it took me 3-4 laps to understand it all.

"By this time the race was ahead of me, but I was quite comfortable in my pace and to finish the race, but then it started to rain.

"The problem was that I was last by a good way because I kept slowing down with the electronics, and I couldn't see anybody. So I didn't know if everybody had pitted or not. So finally I looked on the big screen and saw a lot of people in the pits so I pitted, went back out and the track was like ice!

"The ground was so hot it was making like a shine on the surface. But I didn’t have a bad pace in those two laps.

"A really tricky race, glad to see the finish, I think we would have made a good improvement as regards the pace and distance to the winner if it was a full dry race without problems.

"But overall we had two good weekends of fun, nice to be back on the bike and the team worked well."

Although he wasn't able to score any points, the triple MotoGP race winner was content with his speed.

"The problem is they're going too fast and need to slow down! I had a really bad qualifying, but I qualified half-a-tenth slower than last year as a full-time rider with six years on the Honda," Crutchlow said.

"I don’t think it's as bad as it looks on paper. At least we got some good information, at one point in warm-up I was losing six tenths on average just in the first sector. That is down to the speed of the bike.

"It was never a good track for Franco or the [A-Spec] Yamaha that I was riding, when Fabio and the other guys were riding it they struggled a lot at this circuit. So I did what I could do and that's the reality.

"It was never going to be easy jumping in after five months off the bike, or coming to this circuit and on me to understand many things. But I think we did a good job of that. We gave Yamaha some good information. I sat down with Sumi [Yamaha MotoGP project leader] this morning for nearly 40-minutes discussing the '19 bike, '21 bike, and next year's bike."

While Crutchlow and Morbidelli's crew chief Ramon Forcada tried a variety of set-ups, the Englishman is yet to make the A-Spec feel as comfortable as the 2021 factory-spec bike he tested earlier this year.

"We tried a lot of different set-ups, including their base, but the one I feel better with is the 2021 bike. Because that's what I've been testing," Crutchlow said.

Whichever team – Petronas or Monster - he is riding for in front of his home fans next time at Silverstone, Crutchlow expects, "to do my job and my job is to test. Even though I'm racing, it's a test. We can turn the bike upside down if they want.That's the good thing.

"The problem I had with the electronics today, it was good that it happened to me and not the other [Yamaha] riders. This is also what we are here for, to do these things.

"Being back on the bike after so long off, and being near enough as fast as last year, I was quite pleased with that. !t's just that everybody else was going faster and that's the reality.

"So we'll go to Silverstone with better hopes of improving my feeling and whatever else we can improve. But overall, I'm looking forward to Silverstone."

Team-mate Valentino Rossi finished in a season-best eighth place after deciding to remain on slicks in the rain.