Crutchlow "had to cancel a holiday" to replace Dovizioso in MotoGP

Cal Crutchlow says he “had to cancel a holiday” to make his MotoGP return in this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix as Andrea Dovizioso’s RNF replacement for the rest of 2022.

Crutchlow "had to cancel a holiday" to replace Dovizioso in MotoGP

The three-time MotoGP race winner and Yamaha test rider was announced as Dovizioso’s replacement from Aragon onwards during the British GP weekend, after the latter revealed he would be retiring after the San Marino GP.

Crutchlow retired from MotoGP full-time at the end of 2020 to become Yamaha’s official test rider, but made four starts in 2021 as Petronas SRT’s stand-in for the injured Franco Morbidelli and the ousted Maverick Vinales’ brief replacement at the factory Yamaha squad.

Talking to the media at Aragon on Thursday ahead of his comeback, Crutchlow joked that Dovizioso owed him money for having to cancel a holiday that was due to take place soon – but paid tribute to his former Tech3 team-mate.

“People are saying ‘you are replacing Dovi’,” he began.

“You can’t replace Dovi. Dovi’s a great rider. I always feel strange saying that you’re replacing Dovi. I’m not replacing Dovi.

“I think we’ve lost the last of the real breed of non-robotic real people.

“I’m not saying anything against the other riders. But that’s a shame in my eyes, it’s not in modern day time’s eyes.

“It was great to be able to ride with Dovi for so long. He was a special guy because he was absolutely true to who he was, as in he never changed his mentality no matter what happened and I think that says a lot about him as a person.

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Dorna

“I did ring him and told him he owes me a significant amount of money because I had to cancel a holiday with the girls, because it’s right in the middle of this block!”

Crutchlow’s return to MotoGP will be a hectic period for him as he has six races in eight weeks as well as two private tests for Yamaha, which will take place at Jerez – despite four of the next six rounds taking place in the Asia Pacific region of the globe.

“I’ve got a busy period because I’ve got six races and two tests in eight weeks,” Crutchlow added.

“So, on your weekends off I’m working but it is what it is. [The test] is back in Jerez.

“So just the God knows how many times around the globe, but it is what it is. I accepted it a long time ago.

“If you accept the circumstances and that you’re going to do it, you’re in a good frame of mind. I’ve had a long time to process that. They haven’t just rang me up yesterday and said I was going to ride.”

Crutchlow admits he will be on the grid just to test things for Yamaha in this six-race run, but will still “give my 100%” for the best results possible.

“Probably working still,” he replied when asked if he was testing or pushing for results in his comeback.

“At the end of the day, racing for what? I’m not going to win a championship and I’m not going to win the race.

“But when you’re on the grid, you’ve got a chance to win the race because you’re on the grid. But at the end of the day, I’ll give my 100%. Where my 100% is, I have no idea.”

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