Lin Jarvis: "Yamaha Is Working With Tech 3 To Try To Keep Crutchlow"

With three podiums and a pole position this year, Cal Crutchlow's stock continues to rise. As the only top rider out of contract, there is much speculation about where the talented Englishman could end up. All three factories have expressed an interest in Crutchlow, with Ducati and Yamaha the frontrunners to secure his services for next year. Crutchlow has made his preference clear: to remain at Yamaha, either in the factory team or at Tech 3, with the kind of factory support given to Stefan Bradl in the LCR Honda team by HRC.

For Yamaha, the situation is more complicated. With reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo on the books, as well as nine-time former champ Valentino Rossi, Yamaha currently has no room in the factory team. And with Bradley Smith on a two-year contract, the factory faces a dilemma: hang on to Cal Crutchlow for another year in the satellite team, or go for a young talent like Pol Espargaro, in the hope that they can develop into a rider to take on Marc Marquez for the next few years.

After a positive meeting between Crutchlow, Yamaha and Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal on the Sunday night after Mugello, more meetings were planned at Assen. To find out where Yamaha stands on the Crutchlow situation, we spoke to Yamaha Managing Director Lin Jarvis at Assen, and find out the current state of the negotations. Yamaha was keen to try to retain the services of Crutchlow, Jarvis said. "We are working with Tech 3 to try to keep Cal," the Yamaha boss told us, while acknowledging Crutchlow's results so far this year. "We recognize Cal's skill, his potential, and his growth." 

Jarvis was not certain that Yamaha's efforts would be sufficient, however. "Whether we can put together a package with Tech 3 to match his desire is hard to say," Jarvis said. Yamaha was aware of the offers on the table from other manufacturers, and was struggling to match their terms. When asked if Yamaha was afraid they could lose Cal Crutchlow, Jarvis was phlegmatic. "We are never afraid of things. There is no point," he said. Asked whether Yamaha had already signed a contract with Pol Espargaro, as paddock gossip was suggesting at Assen, Jarvis declined to comment.

The ball is now in Cal Crutchlow's court. With Yamaha apparently unable to extend their offer to match the other factories chasing the Englishman, either in financial respect or in terms of technical support, Crutchlow will have to make a decision on his future soon. A decision which could possibly come as soon as the Sachsenring, if the more outlandish rumors doing the rounds of the paddock are to be believed.

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what Cal wants to do.
From the outside, it's hard to see why he wouldn't hang on with Tech3 for another year, given the Yamaha's competitiveness even in satellite form.
BUT, we have NO idea what Cal's thinking is and he's the only one racing so whatever we, the great unwashed, think, has no bearing on what he does. Let the bloke make up his mind, and appreciate and enjoy the effort he puts in every time he gets on the track, and leave the politics, the money and the management to those involved.

He's definitely the center of silly season and interesting coincidence of this article with rumors regarding Crutchlow and a contract with Ducati to be signed in Sachsenring. I hope he makes the best decision. From the outside it would seem a pity if he goes to Ducati. Seems like every time a rider goes there, we lose one guy that used to fight at the front, at least for podiums. Exception CS of course, but that's a different story.

It is strange Yamaha having this policy of minimum factory support for satellite bikes, since:
1) They don't have a title sponsor to push for factory superiority (like Repsol has done in the past with HRC, if I'm not mistaken)
2) Monster (the title sponsor of Tech 3) is generally affiliated with Yamaha across motorsports.
3) Cal is clearly a special case and they don't have to establish a new policy for everyone, just make an exception here.

I think that Cal getting factory support at Tech 3 would be the ideal scenario for the sport, as well as non-factory teams in general, Tech 3 probably being the best out there and keeping the best non-factory rider.

At this point how can Cal seriously still regard Ducati as a viable option for someone looking to challenge at the front? I know that he needs some bargaining leverage but last year Dovi was consistently beating Cal and this year he is nowhere. And Ducati's 6 month lab bike project has just been deemed a complete failure. Cal has improved a lot as a rider but think he and Dovi would be dicing for 2-5th place this year if they both were still with Tech 3.

As for Yamaha signing Pol 'in the hope that they can develop into a rider to take on Marc Marquez for the next few years', didn't the last race show them that they have someone riding for them that can already do it? If Cal was not so careful in passing Lorenzo (or if had Lorenzo realised it was in his best interest to let Cal by easily) Marquez would have had his hands quite full defending 2nd place. Give him some updated firmware and some factory assistance and Lorenzo can have 2 wingmen capable of challenging and beating both factory Hondas.

And all of this does highlight how poorly (relatively) that Bradl and Bautista are doing.


like Pol Espargaro, in the hope that he can develop into a rider to take on Marc Marquez for the next few years"? What is Cal? He's a proven challenge to Marquez, on a satellite bike! Or is it really a "cheap/inexpensive" young 'talent' like Pol? His brother Aleix is a better prospect. At least Aleix has been consistently competitive on the ART. Pol has shown himself to be hit or miss, on confidence issues, an old-school, emotion driven unpredictable Spanish racer.. Has Yamaha really not learned from hot-or-not riders like Abe, Checa, Biaggi, Toseland?? Is Cal really that expensive? And by the time Pol "develops", Marquez is likely to be like Rossi at his prime-well nigh unbeatable. Yamaha claims they can get along without a title sponsor. If they can't afford Cal, they're seriously decieving themselves. Rossi is retiring soon, like it or not, Lorenzo has been on the front line for years, and carries MANY more serious injuries (a la Doohan and Schwantz) than Rossi ever had.. If Yamaha gives up Cal, they are flat-out ignorant stupid. I love Yamaha, but duhhh. Put Homer Simpson in charge of Yamaha Racing and save some executive salaries in exchange for a trucklload of Duff beer.

I can appreciate the confidence he has in thinking that he'd be able to ride the Ducati, but really, common sense has to intervene somewhere, right? Former race winners have not been able to get the Ducati to win - Melandri, Hayden, Dovisioso, Spies and of course Rossi have all won a GP, but not on the Ducati. Like Chris said he knows exactly what Dovi can do, and he can see where Dovi is this year. That should be his biggest warning. Hayden would actually probably breathe a sigh of relief if Cal took his seat; I know I would.

Cal would be better off trying to displace Bautista or Bradl if he really wants a change. His best bet is to stay where he is, factory support or no.

Excellent points all but let me sum it up in the words of Ricky Bobby.... If you ain't first, you're last and if you ain't on a factory Honda or Yamahammer, you're just riding around.

Put Cal on a Duc and he is dicing it up with Dovi just like Nicky. The Cal train is desperation from my English cousins. He had the pole and he was too nice to pass Lorenzo? C'mon....any one of the Spaniards would have pushed him to the side in a heartbeat.

And they make them any tougher than this dude?

And he is dicing with Dovi...for 8th. Try to dice with Lorenzo and Marquez or Pedrosa, on the Duc, and find youself in the hospital with your career possibly over. "Too nice to pass Lorenzo, any Spanish rider would have done it"? Hmmm, Jorge IS Yamaha's multi-million dollar/euro reigning World Champion, and Cal wants a factory ride with Yamaha, risking ruining Jorge's season for one position? Good judgement by Cal, I think. And I truly doubt Pedrosa, Espargaro, or even Marquez would have risked Lorenzo ( a Spaniard, BTW), riding such a brilliant race, at risk of taking him out. A clean pass, like Crutchlow made? Sure. Alvaro Bautista? Maybe, with a return ticket to Moto2 waiting. And Ricky Bobby was pretty clearly portrayed as a fast moron with no sponsors...

I think that Cal would be better off at Honda. Bautista is not going to keep his ride. I think that Cal on the full factory Honda would continue to get the odd podium throughout the year.

Bradley Smith will not get up to speed by next year and Pol will not be the next Marc Marquez. Cal's absence would leave Tech 3 swamped mid pack. His bargaining chips would be so much greater for Rossi's seat as he bows out next year.

Any word on where Scott Redding will land?

But I can't see past Crutchlow riding a Factory Honda in 2014. Nothing scientific, just one of those funny feelings.

Monster LCR Honda has a ring to it.

It wouldn't surprise me if Honda are moving pawns around behind the scenes to steal Crutchlow away from Yamaha before Lin Jarvis can see his game of bluff come to fruition. Pedrosa isn't going to be in MotoGP much longer and a Marquez/Crutchlow factory team could spend the next few years smashing the Yamahas out of the ballpark... they are the two hungriest* guys out there, even taking Lorenzo into account. And Crutchlow is definitely factory team material, anyone can see that.

* Jorge also has the hunger, of course, but I reckon a large part of what drove him to race at Assen was his desire to take another title before the Marquez rocket reaches its apogee... but that's another discussion altogether.

They know Cal has little real factory options. Yamaha still have Jorge. Honda is comfortable and Ducati is no threat. I feel for Cal because it would be great for him to have a big pay day and a deserving ride. WSB is slowly becoming a shadow of itself so maybe even that is not a big option for him.

That said, if Cal does look to satellite Honda rides there may be a ray of sunlight. How would another fast Honda affect Yamaha? Yes, Lorenzo will always be fast but what will Yamaha have to say if Lorezo has an off day and there is no Cal to bring them home in 3rd? You can't write Rossi off but then again how much can you count on him (Yes, I am a fan)?

Whilst there is no doubt a need/wish of Cal to be on competitive machinery, one should also not loose sight of the fact he's ~27yo and riding for Tech3 probably means he's not on an amazing wage package.

Dovi when he switched from Tech3 to the Ducati factory reportedly was going to get in the region of €2m. If Cal is being offered a similar amount there surely must be a financial calculation in his head working out how he'd get a similar offer in the next year or two...

At some point as a motorcycle racer you need to consider when you're going to cash in on your talents (I think it's only the factory riders who relocate to Switzerland right?).

Yamaha has to call Cal's bluff... like they mentioned, Pol is no Marquez and Redding still needs some time to mature.

I think Cal is playing his cards right to get a good offer from Yamaha in the table... Whether he takes it or not, that's a whole different ballgame... I just hope he doesn't go chasing the big bucks and ends up with Ducati finishing 1st or 2st... in the Q1...

On another note, glad to see VR back in the podium, Dorna needs a 'Cinderella story' to create more buzz... Don't get me wrong... Dani and Jorge ride great but they make races boring..

I'm kinda really beginning to appreciate Cal these days...he's such a refreshing change from the rest. Even Rossi, dare I say it, for all his charm, rarely surprises us these days with his quotes or actions; he's turned into a typical political old timer good boy.

That said, Jarvis has a valid point...Yamaha was not afraid to let Rossi go when they had Lorenzo. Now they have both Lorenzo (at the top of his game) and Rossi (showing ominous signs of being back up there). So they really might not be too worried about Crutchlow.

That said too, Jarvis seems to be a slightly sinister-looking guy who is perhaps only guilty of planning well and way ahead without letting emotional factors affect his reasoning. I wouldn't be surprised if Jarvis is currently putting in a reasonable amount of hard work in getting Crutchlow to stay...which is fair enough, since while Crutchlow is brilliant and talented, I doubt if he has offered any glimpses yet of himself being up there with aliens like Lorenzo.

Could be a real option - if Ducati management stops dicking around and gets Warren Willing to have a proper look at the MotoGP bike. If he could turn that uncompetitive Suzuki 500 into a world championship winner, he should be able to get Ducati back at the front. Unlike the Suzuki, it does not lack power. So, tame the power and get the bike to steer and it could be a game-changer - for lots of people, including Cal...

Ducati is where winning careers go to die....No one has ever been even vaguely competitive on the spec tire Ducati. Crutchlow has options,but I cannot imagine why he would ever sign on to the misery at Ducati.

Yamaha releases Rossi from his contract and Suzuki re-enters Moto GP next year instead of 2015 with Rossi as their pilot. Cal takes over Rossi's spot on the Yamaha factory ride. Either that or they both stay where they are and Stoner comes back on the Suzuki. And yes, I have scheduled appointments with a shrink to help me deal with my Stoner issues.

stay put. Satellite Hondas are not competitive and it seems like Honda is keen on keeping it that way. Ducati is no man's land... I don't think they have had a podium since that one time Rossi won in the rain. Suzuki is a crapshoot that might pull out at the last second. Best bet would be for Yamaha to get Honda to bully the MSMA and let them have more factory slots on the grid. Otherwise he needs to stay put. He is rider #5 on the grid now... any move would put him elsewhere.

I am sure Cal is thinking about retirement though, and a big paycheck from Ducati to fight with CRT bikes and look all downtrodden in post race interviews might be worth more to him than a smaller paycheck and more podiums. But it would be pretty slimy of him to do so after seeing how Rossi showed how awful the Ducs are.

...could Honda not use come of their obvious political might and introduce another factory Honda? Or for that matter, Yamaha? (Although I think they've said they could not). Would Honda need approval from Yamaha and Ducati to have another bike or simply Dorna? They did it for Dovi / Pedrosa / Stoner, (rule changes aside).

Cal signed a 1 yr deal only last year, a 2yr contract was on the table but he refused, wanting to leave his options open. His options are fewer than they were last year. Take the ride with Tech3, do your best and something better will come along

I believe it was a calculated risk, and sometimes they pay off, and sometimes not. We don't yet know that it hasn't.

While leaving his options open, he showed a preference for the Ducati seat which was filled by Dovi. He then burnt his bridges with Ducati by apparently having a shouting match with Del Torcchio. By signing a 1 year deal, he left Yamaha little option but to hedge their bets by signing Pol to a deal (apparently). With Bradley Smith on a 2 year deal, he has left himself little wiggle room. A calculated risk is one thing, leaving yourself no options is something else.

Cal is no doubt a very good rider. To use the tired phrase "alien". I don't rate him as an alien. He is riding the very best handling bike other than the Aprilia on the grid.

He has been around the block a few times and knows how Jarvis and the rest of the team managers operate.

I think that he is behind the 8 ball this time.
Looking at both sides, on the one hand he is in a strong position in that he is contributing more to YRC up to this point than Rossi. He is consistently fast. He qualifies higher and has a strong media presence. Dovi left Tech3 for greener$$ pastures and Bradley smith is still struggling to get within 1.2 seconds from the top riders.This would bode very well for his negotiation position.

On the other hand, it appears Rossi has adpated Lorenzo's M1 to his riding style and will be a threat if not to Lorenzo then certainly to Marquez, Pedrosa as well as Crutchlow. Further YRC is keen to keep a 9 times champion in the fold for marketing reasons after his retirement. Dorna is keen to keep Rossi in Yamaha blue as Rossi's impact on the media/fans is still as strong as ever.

Though Pol is not Marquez he is certainly a greater talent than B.Smith and it appears now that he will bring Spanish fans/sponsorship dollars with him if he wins the Moto2 title. If Cal miss plays his hand, Tech3 could have dueling rookies in Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro.

Cal will be the first to blink. He can't afford to ride on inferior machinery as Dovi/Hayden/Bradl - not in terms of $$$ and not in terms of his presence in the sport.

And nobody is mentioning the fact that Redding is at least as likely to win the Moto2 title. Isn't the Moto2 champ supposed to be the main entry into the big class each year? How is that possible when these dealings are being (supposedly) done before the halfway point of the season and factory prototype seats are as rare as hen's teeth? Or has Redding been making contacts but has not incurred the attention of Crutchlow's unfiltered attention so it is not been made public? Supposedly Bradl and Bautista are staying put for 2014 and with the 4 bike limit his only other option is a non-MSMA entry, a bit of an insult to the possible mid-class champ.

Now that all this posturing and negotiating about ECUs, CRTs/non-MSMA, production racers and leasing engines are done can we remove the 4 prototype bike per factory limit? If there are riders that can bring the sponsorship they will go for the fast bike and if not they'll go for a slower option. If anything the 4 bike limit is putting significant negotiating power in the factory's hands at the expense of the riders.


Jorge, Vale, Cal, Bradley, Pol. 5 riders. 4 bikes. Why are we discussing the level of factory support, when there seem to be not enough Yamahas of any level?

It seems pretty clear that Cal has a bike more or less at the factory level - perhaps some software updates/access to them is an issue, but the engines per se and the chassis issues seem to be more about what the rider needs than what the factory gives - his rejection of the JL frame seems to make that clear. You cannot have 3 equals and, as Pedrosa showed with Hayden, and quite a few before them, unless you are more or less on the same page the factory has to have a #1; #2; and #3.
What seems to be coming out is that Yamaha can do some things for Tech 3 on the technical side and the extra resources needed/created by engine deals would surely help that (I assume that Brad would also benefit on software...??) but what Cal wants is a career income boost and the Tech 3 seat.
If he does go to Ducati he will spend at least 2 years getting back to where he started this year - and that's not a put down of either him or Ducati - it's just my opinion on what it now takes to get a new bike competitive - look at Suzuki. Ducati haven't run at the front for a whole race for some time, so their fuel usage is a bit of a guess. The Tech 3/Factory difference last year (Motegi)shows what a fine line it is.
I hope he stays where he is, sport-wise, but I'm not Cal or his financial advisor. If he does sign up for a house in Tuscany or Switzerland I hope he can learn the language that Ducati needs him to speak - if it's Hayden's seat he takes the feedback could be quite different!
Redding could be quite a cool card in the equation - he is definitely a future prospect and shows all the traits of a rider able to take on MM and anyone else. Ducati could do worse from a fan base perspective too - the Brits seem to be popular in Italy, and he has a Euro-appeal and youth on his side.
Everybody has choices in the equation....

The MotoGP commission have changed the rules for 2014, and factory teams can enter up to 4 riders next year. Yamaha should run three factory bikes, and include Cal in the team. I am sure that he would bring a significant amount of sponsorship into the team through Monster and IRTA. He should gain the recognition and support that he deserves, and be seen in Official colours. Everyone should petition Lin Jarvis to expand the team.