Crutchlow "surprised" at Espargaro’s Honda MotoGP signing

Outgoing LCR MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow admits he was "surprised" at Honda's decision to sign Pol Espargaro for 2021

Crutchlow "surprised" at Espargaro’s Honda MotoGP signing

Honda confirmed earlier this week that it signed 2013 Moto2 champion Espargaro to its works team for the next two years, with rookie Alex Marquez being moved out of the factory squad to LCR on a two-year deal in place of Crutchlow.

Though recently admitting that losing his place wasn't a surprise to him, the three-time race winner questioned Honda's decision to bring on Espargaro given his sole MotoGP podium finish from the six seasons he has completed.

"I wasn't surprised massively [at losing my LCR ride], I was more surprised at who they chose," Crutchlow said on Wednesday at Jerez ahead of this week's Spanish Grand Prix.

"That's not being disrespectful, but the reality is if they chose somebody like [Andrea] Dovizioso, I think it would be a different scenario or a different feeling for me.

"But they chose a guy that has one podium in MotoGP in six years.

"Then they've moved Alex, which obviously it's a bad situation for him to have been moved out of the factory team straight away.

"But as I've said before, there's absolutely no hard feelings [with Honda].

"I've had five great years and we've made a lot of memories together, we've had three races wins and 12 podiums, and without them I wouldn't have been able to do that."

Espargaro (above) and Marc Marquez have enjoyed rivalry in their 125cc and Moto2 days, but the latter "respects" Honda's decision to partner the pair next year, and believes his brother Alex's move to LCR is "a positive step" for him.

"I have never forced or vetoed who my partner can be," said Marquez .

"It was not going to be any different. I respect Honda's decision as I did after Jorge [Lorenzo's] special situation.

"I know that Honda seeks the best for the team. They believed that Pol had to be my partner and Alex in the LCR with factory support. Pol has more experience in the category.

"I think it is a positive step for Honda and Alex. What is not normal is to go to the factory team.

"There have been cases like mine, but the logical thing is to start with a satellite team like [Franco] Morbidelli, [Fabio] Quartararo or [Casey] Stoner in their day.

"He will have the factory support. I am very happy for him. The movement is positive especially for Alex. He will have the opportunity to make a place for himself in MotoGP."

shares
comments
Reports Rossi has signed SRT MotoGP deal “fake”
Previous article

Reports Rossi has signed SRT MotoGP deal “fake”

Next article

Yamaha "not the bike to beat" at Jerez – Quartararo

Yamaha "not the bike to beat" at Jerez – Quartararo
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021