After riding Franco Morbidelli’s 2019 Yamaha during both Austrian MotoGP rounds, Cal Crutchlow returns to the more familiar 2021 M1 Yamaha this weekend at Silverstone. 

The British rider’s early season tests were all carried out on 2021 machinery, while outings on the 2022 bike are set to take place soon. 

But before that happens, Crutchlow will be completing the third of his three scheduled stand-in rides - this weekend being the first with Monster Energy Yamaha due to Maverick Vinales and the team’s split.

Looking beyond Silverstone, Crutchlow himself knows exactly how long or not he will continue racing for, however, the former LCR Honda rider was unwilling to share that with the world’s media during Thursday’s pre-event press conference. 

"Yes I do know how long I will be racing and no I won’t be telling you; not you (specifically) but I mean everybody [laughs], because this is not my business," added Crutchlow. 

"I will be racing here this weekend which is always good and I think it’s good that I’m on the 2021 bike. 

"This is the bike I have been testing earlier in the year. I’m sure the direction for next year’s bike which I will start to test soon will be more directed on the 2021 bike, so anything we learn is helpful. 

"Anything we can give to Fabio [Quartararo] and to the other guys on the 2021 bike is always positive. The good thing with me is they can do what they want. These guys have a championship to race in." 

After missing out on a home GP last year due to Covid-19, Crutchlow believed racing at Silverstone would ‘never’ come around again, while calling it ‘a privilege’ to do so for the factory Yamaha squad. 

Crutchlow said: "It’s great to come to Silverstone. I never thought I’d be racing a Silverstone Grand Prix again after I retired last year. 

"So, to come back; obviously to miss last year was already disappointing, but to be able to come back this weekend with the Monster Energy Yamaha team is a privilege. 

"It’s a privilege to ride Silverstone anyway, but now with the full crowd it’s going to be entertaining for everybody. I look forward to getting out there and trying to do my best. 

"Obviously, riding in Austria wasn’t easy after so long off the bike, but to come here this weekend in maybe a little bit better of a situation after the last two races is good and I look forward to seeing what we can do."