Yamaha Confirms Motegi Wildcard For THIS MotoGP Veteran
In order to push the performance of the M1, Yamaha counts on a wildcard entry in Motegi. The lucky guy is a well-known MotoGP veteran and test rider.
The 2023 season has been a difficult one for Yamaha, as the brand has only managed two podiums through Fabio Quartararo – he finished third at the GP of America and third in the sprint at the Dutch GP after Brad Binder received a track limit penalty.
In recent months, Quartararo has complained that Yamaha has not improved much since he joined the brand in 2019 and went into the summer break with little confidence that it could take a step forward in the second half of the season.
However, in order to make at least some progress, the Japanese are now confirming a wildcard entry for Cal Crutchlow at Yamaha’s home race at Motegi.
Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli told Motorsport-Total.com: “We have already decided that this year we will do a wildcard in Motegi, and I hope there will be a second one.”
Having lost its satellite team after the 2022 season, Crutchlow’s wildcard outing will be Yamaha’s first opportunity to collect additional data on a race weekend.
Putting the focus on Europe
Despite the current difficult situation, Meregalli is satisfied with the test team’s situation surrounding test rider Cal Crutchlow.
“We are very happy with Cal,” he said. The Japanese are trying to move their test team further towards Europe in their try to get back to the top of MotoGP.
Traditionally, Japanese manufacturers Yamaha and Honda test primarily in their home country. “We are pushing to increase the number of training days in Europe,” explains Meregalli.
Yamaha currently sits bottom of the manufacturers’ standings, seven points adrift of the similarly struggling Honda – which has at least scored one victory in 2023, courtesy of Alex Rins at the Americas GP.