Just as British fans thought that for the first time since 2010 they won’t have a British rider to cheer on at Silverstone, home-hero’s Cal Crutchlow and Jake Dixon step to the fore, riding the Monster Energy Yamaha and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT machines respectively.
Following the fallout between Maverick Viñales and his Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team, British MotoGP fans have been awarded the chance to watch two local stars in action this Bank Holiday weekend as the championship returns to Silverstone for the first time since that stunning finale between Alex Rins and Marc Marquez.
Originally replacing Franco Morbidelli at SRT, Crutchlow has been draughted in to replace the outgoing Viñales, who was suspended and later sacked by Yamaha following an incident at the Styrian Grand Prix at the start of August – for the British Grand Prix at least. With the number 35 now sported on the factory M1, this left a hole in Razlan Razali’s team, a hole that will be filled by Jake Dixon.
The former BSB contender will be given the opportunity to showcase what he can do on a prototype machine as he makes his premier class debut at the British Grand Prix. But why Dixon? As we know, Valentino Rossi will retire at the end of the 2021 season and it is looking increasingly likely that Franco Morbidelli will replace the Spanish rider at Lin Jarvis’ team – leaving two empty seats at SRT – who will lose PETRONAS’ backing from 2022 onwards.
The opportunity gives Dixon and any other rider given the opportunity to ride the M1 in the coming rounds to provide their CV to the former race-winning team in a bid to gain a full-time ride in 2022. It is no secret that Dorna, ideally, would like a Britsh rider on the grid, and Dixon could be the best candidate for that.
The addition of Dixon to SRT’s premier class outfit for this weekend means he is Rossi’s fourth team-mate in two months (Morbidelli, Gerloff, Crutchlow and Dixon) – the same amount Rossi has had in the last 15 years (Edwards, Lorenzo, Hayden, Vinales).
Find out how Crutchlow and Dixon get on at their home Grand Prix this weekend.
Featured image: MotoGP.com