Cal Crutchlow is to stay with the LCR Honda team for the next two years. The Englishman's contract is part of a new deal between HRC and LCR, which will see Honda supply Honda RC213Vs to the LCR Honda team for the next two seasons, and signs Crutchlow directly to HRC, rather than LCR.
The deal with HRC should see expanded support for LCR from Honda. Lucio Cecchinello's squad is expected to expand to a two-bike effort for 2018, with Taka Nakagami joining the team with support from Japanese oil company Idemitsu. The contract should also mean more support for Crutchlow's side of the garage. HRC have been using Crutchlow as an extra test rider for the past couple of seasons, so more support and a direct contract is a logical extension of that relationship.
The press release announcing the deal appears below:
CAL CRUTCHLOW SIGNS NEW TWO-YEAR CONTRACT WITH HRC AND LCR
PRESS RELEASE: 21 June 2017
The LCR Honda MotoGP Team is delighted to officially announce the renewal of the technical partnership with the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) for the next two years, with Cal Crutchlow also confirmed as part of the cooperation. The Brit, who has been riding a Honda RC213V since 2015, taking two MotoGP victories, two second places and two third places, has signed a new two-year agreement with the Japanese manufacturer.
Tetsuhiro Kuwata HRC Director (General Manager Race Operations Management Division): “We're very happy to continue working with the LCR Team and with Cal for the next two seasons. We really appreciate the work they’re doing, and we decided to confirm our relationship and even elevate it by having Cal under contract directly with HRC. We wish Cal and Lucio all the best for the remainder of this season and those to come!"
Lucio Cecchinello (LCR Honda Team Principal): “Cal is undoubtedly one of the most competitive and talented riders in MotoGP, and thanks to HRC’s support, we are honoured to work with him again for the next two years. Cal gave us our first ever victory in the premier class of MotoGP and further important results. I want to thank all those who worked and supported this project so far, first and foremost HRC”.
"I am very happy to confirm that I will be riding for HRC with the LCR Team again for two more seasons. We have worked extremely hard over the last three seasons together and I am positive that we will enjoy more great results together. I would like to thank HRC for the great support they offer me and our team, and I look forward to giving my hundred percent to this project as always."