Cal Crutchlow to make a wildcard appearance with Yamaha in Japan

Cal Crutchlow to make a wildcard appearance with Yamaha in Japan

Yamaha MotoGP Test Rider Cal Crutchlow will make a wildcard appearance in the Japanese Grand Prix later in the season with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team.

Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow will make his long-awaited 2023 wildcard entry in the Japanese Grand Prix at the Mobility Resort Motegi in October.

The British rider will be racing on an M1 with a customized livery that heavily draws inspiration from Yamaha-owned lubricants company Yamalube. The scheme includes more black paintwork on the side of the bike in addition to Yamaha’s regular dark blue hue.

The three-time MotoGP winner claims he will do everything in his power to aid Yamaha in furthering the development of their bike by testing newly designed parts. Crutchlow’s Japanese race will be his first as a wildcard racer with Yamaha since joining the Japanese manufacturer for the 2021 season.

“I’m happy to have the chance to race at Motegi with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team,” said Cal Crutchlow. “As Yamaha’s Official Test Rider, I do all I can to help develop the M1.

“The GP in Japan is a good opportunity to test prototype items in a race setting.

“I look forward to working with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team, starting with the upcoming test in August. I’m sure we’ll have a great time together.

“We will work hard to collect as much valuable information for Yamaha as possible.”

The fact that Yamaha has struggled so far this season means the bike is desperately in need of new parts. If everything goes according to plan, Yamaha might make a good stride in 2024 with Crutchlow stepping in to test these new parts in a racing setting.

“I would like to take this chance to develop the YZR-M1 in a maximum way”, said Kazuhiro Masuda, the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team Director. “I am fully convinced that the feedback from this wild card race, ridden with prototype parts, will make the performance of the machine much stronger.”

“I believe this wild card will be a significant turning point to improve the performance of the YZR-M1.

“The engineers are working very hard, and Cal’s participation in the Japanese GP benefits the improvement of the YZR-M1 for the factory team – not only for this season but also for the next”

Crutchlow announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 campaign and afterwards accepted a position as Yamaha’s Test Rider, now he is about to take part in the brand’s maiden wildcard event. Since his retirement, Cal Crutchlow has raced the Yamaha but he has done so as a backup rider.

He has participated in a total of 10 races over the past couple of campaigns as a stand-in rider, despite not having yet raced as a full-fledged Yamaha wild-card.

Crutchlow replaced Franco Morbidelli at the Petronas SRT team in ’21 after the Italian joined the factory team early to replace Maverick Vinales. He also participated in the final six races of ’22 in place of Andrea Dovizioso at the renamed RNF Racing Team after the Italian decided to end his career after a challenging season. 

Crutchlow scored a best finish of 12th in the Malaysian GP last season.

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