Yamaha MotoGP test rider Cal Crutchlow will make his long-awaited first wildcard appearance of 2023 in the Japanese Grand Prix at the Mobility Resort Motegi in October.  

The Briton will compete on an M1 adorned with a special livery featuring significant influence from Yamaha-owned lubricants brand Yamalube, a scheme that features larger amounts of black on the side of the machine alongside Yamaha’s traditional dark blue house colour.

Crutchlow’s Japanese outing will mark the first time he has competed as a wildcard racer with Yamaha since joining the Japanese manufacturer for the 2021 season, the three-time premier class race winner insisting he will do “all I can” to help the marque make more progress with its bike by testing new prototype parts.

“I’m happy to have the chance to race at Motegi with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team,” began Crutchlow.

“As Yamaha’s Official Test Rider, I do all I can to help develop the M1. The GP in Japan is a good opportunity to test prototype items in a race setting.

“I look forward to working with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team, starting with the upcoming test in August and we will work hard to collect as much valuable information for Yamaha as possible.”

Despite not having competed as a full-on Yamaha wild-card yet, Crutchlow has contested a total of ten races as a stand-in rider across the past couple of campaigns.

He stood in for Franco Morbidelli at the Petronas SRT outfit in ’21 after the Italian joined the factory squad early to replace Maverick Vinales, while he raced in the final six events of ’22 in place of Andrea Dovizioso at the re-named RNF Racing Team after he elected to call time on his career following a tough campaign- Crutchlow scoring a best result of 12th in the Malaysian GP last year.

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