Crutchlow: Physical pain could sway retirement call

Jamie Klein

The LCR Honda rider said when his current HRC deal was signed last year that it would likely be his last contract in grand prix racing - although he has opened the door to staying on the grid past 2020, recently admitting a new deal has already been discussed.

After a strong 2018 season that was curtailed by a huge crash at Phillip Island, Crutchlow has endured a more difficult 2019 campaign so far, having struggled with the handling characteristics of this year's RC213V.

He lies ninth in the standings ahead of this weekend's Misano round with two podium finishes to his name at Qatar and the Sachsenring.

Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda

Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Crutchlow said the ankle that he broke in last year's Phillip Island crash has given him renewed grief in recent months, after a sustained period of having no trouble with it.

"In the last couple of months it’s gone really bad again," he admitted. "I had five months when it was fantastic. Then just before Sachsenring I had some pain, and it’s become really bad again. It was a similar pain to what I had about a month after the operation.

"We're trying to understand why. I think it’s the metalwork pushing against nerves. I’m going to wait to see the surgeon that did the operation in Australia."

Crutchlow added that having the metal plates removed at the end of the season could cause him problems in the early part of the 2020 season.

"They have to move the nerves again to take the metalwork out," he said. "But how do I know how it’s going to react to that movement? It could be worse.

"The surgeon says it could be two weeks and you have no pain; it could be two years."

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda Gold and Goose / LAT Images

Gold and Goose / LAT Images