Razgatlioglu was obvious choice for Petronas SRT - Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow believes “the obvious choice” for Petronas SRT Yamaha to replace Valentino Rossi in 2022 would have been World Superbike title contender Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Razgatlioglu was obvious choice for Petronas SRT - Crutchlow

Rossi’s retirement decision – which was announced last Thursday – and Franco Morbidelli’s imminent promotion to the factory Yamaha team to replace Maverick Vinales has left SRT with two riders to find for 2022.

Yamaha WSBK star Razgatlioglu was one of the names linked to the team, but he put an end to these rumours in last month when he signed a new two-year deal to remain in the production-based series with Yamaha.

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With options limited for 2022, Crutchlow – who is riding in the next three races as Morbidelli’s injury relief – believes Razgatlioglu was the best choice.

“It would have been great to see him in MotoGP, I think he’s a fantastic talent, I think he would have been a breath of fresh air for the championship as well,” the Yamaha test rider said.

“Being a MotoGP rider now, yes, it’s about being fast and evidently it doesn’t matter how you are, if you’re getting results you’re doing your job.

“But on the other hand, teams, manufacturers, everything like to see the full package and I think Toprak was.

“He knows his value, that’s one of the things. He would have been good for the championship, for the promotion of the championship.”

Explaining what he meant when he said Razgatlioglu knows his value, Crutchlow added: “What I mean is he’s not devaluing himself or the sport.

“You see his social media following is good, it’s only going to get bigger.

“He’s Turkey’s rider, maybe MotoGP could have gone back to Turkey, could have taken advantage of that. That’s why I say he’s the best guy. I think he would have been very good for the promotion of the team here.

“That would have been my first choice, but that’s out the window. Not that I have anything to do with it, obviously I discuss it with [Yamaha boss] Lin [Jarvis] and with the team. So, Lin’s choices are going to be massively important in this too.”

Crutchlow also said he would like to see close friend Sam Lowes get another chance in MotoGP following his disastrous 2017 rookie campaign with Aprilia.

Six-time WSBK champion Jonathan Rea didn’t rule out a MotoGP switch with SRT when asked about his future last month, but has since reiterated his commitment to staying with Kawasaki in WSBK in 2022.

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