Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. appointed Cal Crutchlow as a wild-card entry for this weekend‘s Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Round 14 of the 2023 FIM MotoGP World Championship. The Briton will be riding the special livery YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team YZR-M1 (matching with the YAMALUBE RS4GP high-performance motor oil branding) at the Mobility Resort Motegi this race weekend, with the aim to test various prototype parts in a MotoGP race setting and accelerate bike development.
As the official Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider, Crutchlow is the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team‘s ideal choice for their one-off MotoGP entry. Though his participation in the 2023 Japanese GP marks his first Yamaha wild-card experience since he started riding for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team in 2021, he has not been idle. He did contest in ten GPs over the course of 2021-2022 as a replacement rider.
Moreover, Crutchlow is certainly no stranger to the Motegi track. He has ridden at the circuit ten times in the MotoGP premier class as a regular rider and scored a best result of second place in 2018. Crutchlow‘s experience at the Motegi track was further deepened by a successful private Motegi test he completed on 11th August 2023.
With the wild-card entry Yamaha affirms their mission to accelerate bike development. Crutchlow joined Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli during their visit to the Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. headquarters and Yamaha factory in Iwata, Japan, on the 27th of September, to bring extra excitement to the hard-working engineers for their home GP.
The Motegi circuit was built in 1997 for test purposes. It was first visited by MotoGP in 1999 for the Japanese Grand Prix. A year later the track hosted the Pacific Grand Prix, and it has remained a major attraction for motorsports fans ever since. In 2004 Motegi replaced the Suzuka Circuit on the MotoGP calendar to become the host of the Japanese Grand Prix once again, and it has kept this status. The 4.8km track is known for setting the scene for lots of memorable and exciting racing moments thanks to its challenging layout of six left and eight right corners and various hard-braking and acceleration areas.
The Grand Prix of Japan is held in the GMT +9 time zone. FP1 will take place on Friday from 10:45 - 11:30 local track time and Practice will be held from 15:00 - 16:00. On Saturday, FP2 will be held from 10:10 - 10:40, and the qualifying sessions from 10:50 - 11:30, followed by the Sprint starting at 15:00. On Sunday, Warm Up is held from 10:40 - 10:50 and the Race starts at 15:00.