Cal Crutchlow is confident he will be riding for a factory-backed World Superbike Championship team in 2010, but admits he is not ruling out the possibility of defecting to the newly formed Moto2 series.
The Yamaha rider has taken the World Supersport Championship by storm this season and is now just four races away from becoming the first non-Ten Kate Honda rider to win the title since 2001.
Although the rider market currently stagnant as the series heads into its summer break, attention is nonetheless beginning to turn towards 2010, with Crutchlow expected to occupy the top of many ‘wanted’ lists.
Indeed, while Crutchlow wouldn’t be drawn on any specific interest from perspective employers, he reveals he has been approached by ‘a couple of factory teams’.
“My plans are good,” he told Crash.net. “I am sitting on a few offers from World Superbikes teams, including a couple of factory teams. It is an honour to be thought of in that sense, but I want to win the [Supersport] title first. I was employed by Yamaha to win the title and that is what I want to concentrate on.
Crutchlow is particularly confident that he could be riding a factory Yamaha in 2010, hinting at a clause in his contract that stipulates he can graduate to Superbikes if his results in Supersports are good enough.
His comments come despite Yamaha WSB boss Massimo Meregalli, in an interview with Crash.net, stating his desire to retain Ben Spies and Tom Sykes next season.
“I have a good team of people behind me who are working on next year and in a few weeks they will come to me and say ‘this is what is on the table, what do you want to do’,” he added. “I know what I’ve been told and there is no reason to suggest I won’t be on a World Superbike Yamaha next year. It would be stupid if it wasn’t in my contract.”
Despite his World Superbike options, Crutchlow adds he is seriously considering a move to the new Moto2 series, pointing out that it will be the quicker route to reaching his target of MotoGP.
“I have some very interesting things going on in the Moto2 paddock. It’s no secret that I want to end up in GPs in my career, that’s the pinnacle of racing. The way I look at it, you have to have an exceptional year in Superbikes and win it straight away, which isn’t really the norm. You’re going to be in World Superbikes for a few years before even considering getting to MotoGP, where as I have a bit of a fast track with Moto2.”
Keen to capitalise on his four-stroke experience, although Crutchlow concedes he has an ideal opportunity to move into World Superbikes with a race winning team, the ‘bigger picture’ of grand prix racing is a significant lure.
“I would go into Moto2 with four-stroke experience next year, unlike others, and I might have an advantage. I have to take that into consideration.
“People would say I’m stupid not to sign with the factory Yamaha team, or go with one of the other factory teams that we’re talking to, but I want to look at the bigger picture and go to MotoGP.
“I’m not saying I’m good enough to go to MotoGP at the moment, but I think I can go to Moto2 and do well. There is no reason why I shouldn’t go there, but I would like the opportunity to ride Superbikes again – I have proved I can do so.”
Last month, Eugene Laverty, Crutchlow’s key World Supersport title rival, revealed he wasn’t considering a return to the grand prix paddock in Moto2.
Source | Crash.net