Cal Crutchlow believes he is “more motivated than ever” as the 2020 MotoGP season gets underway with this likely to be his final season at Honda.
The British star has raced with Honda for six years including the current season, but reports have suggested he could be on the move as the Japanese manufacturers reshuffle their pack of drivers following the 2020 season.
Crutchlow remains focused on the task in hand as the 2020 MotoGP calendar kick-starts on BT Sport in Jerez, Spain this weekend, but confirmed in an exclusive chat with RadioTimes.com that he does have “good options that excite him” once this campaign is over.
He said: “I don’t understand the decision, but it’s their decision to make. It’s not my decision. I don’t have to understand it to be happy about it as well.
“We’ve had some great times over the years, I’ve done a good job for them, they’ve done a good job for me and that’s the situation that has come about over the six years we’ve been together. We’ve made a lot of podiums and had some great results and race wins in MotoGP – all my race wins have been with Honda – I’ve had a good time.
“It looks like I’ll continue to race in MotoGP in the paddock. Where? That’s yet to be fixed but there are some options available, some good options that excite me but I think I’ll be continuing to race in MotoGP, look forward to this year first and foremost, and then next year when it comes around.
Asked whether the 34-year-old rider still has the same hunger for the sport after all these years, Crutchlow reflected on his career and current stance on the sport.
“The challenge has changed. When I first started, I rode bikes for fun. Now I ride to win, for fun and because it’s my job. And sometimes you just want to ride for fun, I can tell you that because it makes you a lot faster.
“I’ve had years of a lot of different emotions, a lot of different categories, wins, not wins, crashes but that’s part of it, that’s the game we’re in and that’s why we keep coming back, so I think my motivation is more than ever which is strange really but I feel in a good way.
“If I go to another manufacturer I want to put it on the podium. That will mean every manufacturer that I have rode for I’ve been on the podium.”
Like all racers, Crutchlow is getting back in the saddle for the first MotoGP race since November 2019 – a far longer off-season than usual – due to the coronavirus lockdown.
He expects a few stars to head into the season with a little rust to blow off and admits he has some “good” nerves about hopping back on the bike.
“We all want to race, we all want to ride. The time off has probably brought a sense of normality to a normal life being at home.
“I’ve enjoyed it because of my family at home, but it also makes you feel like you do want to race and you do want to get back to being back in the paddock and being at a race circuit which has been so normal for me for the past 20 years. It’s nice to come back again and start again.
“I think we’re going to have some difficult first moments and touches with the bike. It’ll be a strange feeling to have so long off the bike. We have around 300bhp in these things now so they’re fast and take some getting used to, so this amount of time off will be funny to be able to get the first feeling with the bike.
“There’s some nerves there, definitely, but nerves are good though.”
For the full breakdown of how to watch MotoGP on BT Sport including times, dates and results, check out our MotoGP 2020 calendar.
If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV guide.