Jack Miller has paid tribute to his friend and rival Cal Crutchlow as the LCR Honda rider prepares to start his last MotoGP race as a full-time competitor in the Portuguese MotoGP at Portimao. A fitting location for Crutchlow to call time on racing before he settles into a new role as Yamaha test rider for 2021, it is in Portimao where he wrapped up his WorldSSP title back in 2009.
Since then Crutchlow has firmly established himself as a stalwart of the MotoGP paddock with a 10-year tenure that took in stints with Tech 3 Yamaha, Ducati Corse and LCR Honda, the latter with which he’d go on to achieve three career wins.
Though it remains unclear whether Crutchlow will be back on the grid in 2021 as a wild-card, the Briton is nonetheless content with deciding to end his full-time career now.
“I have been privileged to work with some great people, great teams, great bikes and been here for 10 years riding some of the best bikes in the world. It is a privilege to be able to do that.”
“Ten years ago I didn’t think I’d do what I have done, so I have exceeded my own expectations but working with great people and great crews, I don’t think I have left any garage without getting on with people and relationships so it is nice it has come full circle.”
“The best win has to be Brno because it was my first one and i was so far back at the start but managed to come through. I’ll take that one.”
In that time Crutchlow has also forged a ‘bromance’ with Pramac Ducati’s Miller, who duly paid tribute to his friend by saying he has had to work harder than most to prove people wrong having followed an alternative path to MotoGP via Superbikes rather than GP.
“I think on behalf of myself and everybody, all we can say is thank you to Cal for everything he has done on and off the track, I think he has been a great ambassador for the sport. He has been one of the hardest working guys I have seen in the paddock.”
“A lot of the times I feel he was doubted more than other riders too but every time he was doubted or people wrote him off, he was able to come back and prove them all wrong.”
“The best thing about him is he is never shy to tell you he’s proved you wrong, so we will miss him dearly but he’s a bad smell, he won’t go all away.”
In return, Crutchlow – known for his honest appraisals – says he will ‘pass on the baton’ for political incorrectness to Miller…
“I am going to pass the baton to Jack to not be political and be yourself, I think he is learning that and does a good job. At the end of the day, I have no regrets about anything I have said or done, but I think I am being truthful, honest and sincere. Other riders are too but they may say it in a different way to me.”