Crutchlow: Van der Mark shouldn't replace Rossi mid-weekend

Cal Crutchlow believes Michael van der Mark should not step in for Valentino Rossi mid-weekend if the Italian rider decides he is unable to compete properly at Aragon.

Rossi was declared fit by doctors at the Spanish track on Thursday, 21 days on from breaking his right leg in a motocross crash that ruled him out of the previous round at Misano. 

As such, the 38-year-old will take part in Friday’s opening practice session before making a decision on whether he will continue for the rest of the weekend. 

Should he stand down, Yamaha World Superbike rider van der Mark is on standby, but the Dutchman faces the prospect of taking over Rossi’s bike with no experience of the M1. 

LCR Honda rider Crutchlow said he would turn down the chance to replace Rossi mid-weekend if he were in van der Mark’s position.

He cited the case of Alex Lowes having to pull out of last year’s Aragon race, when he was set to deputise for Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith, after a crash in Sunday morning warm-up.

“I wouldn’t want to do what van der Mark is doing this weekend – even for a whole weekend, let alone jumping in during FP3,” said Crutchlow.

“They [MotoGP bikes] are vicious things, it’s not like riding a Superbike. If they bite you, they bite you.

“Look at Alex here – first lap of morning warm-up, used tyre, turned into the last corner and high-sided off-throttle. That doesn’t happen on a World Superbike.”

Crutchlow also revealed he had the chance to deputise for an injured Rossi in 2010, back when he was a World Superbike rider for Yamaha, but turned the offer down.

“You know when I was riding for Yamaha in World Superbike [in 2010], I was offered Valentino’s ride when he broke his leg in Mugello,” he recalled.

“I saw Lin [Jarvis, team boss], but we both decided not to do it, because it was for one race. I said, ‘I’m not interested, I’ll just make myself look like an idiot’. No testing, straight into a race.

“Not many people understood the tyres, and I was going well in World Superbike and I didn’t want to hurt myself.”

Van der Mark not "disappointed" to miss FP1

Van der Mark himself said that he had always suspected Rossi would attempt to ride at Aragon, and therefore wasn’t disappointed when the Italian was passed fit to ride in Friday's first practice session.

“To be honest, I knew that Valentino would try just before the weekend so I always kept in mind there was the opportunity he was going to race,” he said.

“I didn't really focus on riding tomorrow morning. I always thought just wait and see. I would have done the same [in Rossi’s position] so I'm not really disappointed.

“It’s just amazing that Yamaha asked me to come here and if possible to ride the bike. [If] I have to go out, I go out and make the best of it and just enjoy this amazing opportunity.”

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Aragon GP
Track Motorland Aragon
Drivers Cal Crutchlow , Michael van der Mark
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Breaking news