Sport Crutchlow: Honda not wrong to move Marquez out of MotoGP factory team
Honda set to renew Repsol MotoGP title partnership
The factory Honda MotoGP squad is set to agree a new two-year title sponsorship deal with Spanish oil giant Repsol, Autosport has learned . © LAT Images Honda set to renew Repsol title partnership Repsol became title sponsor to the works Honda outfit back in 1995, beginning one of the most enduring partnerships in MotoGP and yielding 15 riders' world titles pread between Mick Doohan, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez. Rumours in recent weeks emerged from the paddock suggesting Repsol could be set to end its association with Honda in 2021.
LCR's Cal Crutchlow does not believe Honda was wrong in moving Alex Marquez out of its factory MotoGP team for 2021 before the season had begun, despite his recent form.
The 2019 Moto2 champion was signed by HRC to replace the retiring Jorge Lorenzo for 2020 at the factory team, but was moved out of the Repsol-backed garage for 2021 before the first race of the year to make way for Pol Espargaro.
In the last two weeks, Marquez gave Honda its first podium of 2020 with a second in a wet French Grand Prix before repeating that performance in the dry at Aragon having fought for the victory with Suzuki's Alex Rins.
Stefan Bradl explains: Why Alex Marquez is suddenly so good
© Motorsport Images Alex Marquez feels more and more comfortable on the Honda, also knows Stefan Bradl With his first podium in the dry , Alex Marquez has the MotoGP scene and also amazed his Honda colleagues in Aragon after he had stormed onto the podium in the rain at Le Mans the week before. Takaaki Nakagami and Cal Crutchlow from LCR-Honda praised the rookie's performance in the highest tones.
HRC's decision could be seen as being too hasty, but Crutchlow - who will be moved out of LCR to make way for Marquez, who extended his deal with Honda for two more years - disagrees with this.
"No, I think Honda jumped on their instincts," Crutchlow said when asked if Honda made its decision too soon regarding Marquez's future.
"They moved on their instincts of what they know and what they know about the championship.
"I don't think there's any wrong move.
"Now, as you can see Alex deserves his seat in MotoGP, he definitely deserves his seat in the team he's in.
"Now, I will say as you know, he's on a Honda contract, he's going to get a factory bike next year.
"I think my team is a very good team and I think he'll do just as well in either team.
2020 MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix session timings and preview
MotoGP completes its latest triple-header with a second consecutive race at Aragon, the first-ever Teruel Grand Prix . © LAT Images MotoGP Teruel GP session timings and preview Following yet another dramatic MotoGP race in the most unpredictable of seasons, Alex Rins became the eighth different winner across the opening ten races in the first Aragon encounter, while Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir claimed the riders' world championship lead thanks to his rostrum finish coupled with erstwhile points leader Fabio Quartararo dropping down to 18th place in the Aragon GP.
"Of course, there's all these resources [at the factory team], but I'm sure he's not going to worry for resources."
Honda confirmed on Thursday ahead of this weekend's Teruel GP that Crutchlow's current team-mate Takaaki Nakagami has signed ato remain with LCR.
Crutchlow hopes Nakagami - who is Honda's leading rider in the standings in fifth and 29 points from the lead - has "gotten a good deal" as he's been "riding very well".
"With regards to Taka, we all knew he was going to sign again with Honda," he added.
"Hopefully he's got a good deal because he's doing a good job this year.
"Having said that, he's still not a podium finisher and he's been riding very, very well.
"There's no doubt about that. Maybe this weekend he's a podium finisher."
Crutchlow "happy with career" if 2020 is his final MotoGP season .
Cal Crutchlow says he'll be "happy" with everything he has achieved in his MotoGP career should he not find a ride for the 2021 season after losing his LCR seat . © LAT Images Crutchlow Crutchlow will be moved out of the LCR Honda squad at the end of the current season to make way for Alex Marquez, who is being moved from the factory team having extended his HRC contract for two more years.