Cal Crutchlow arrived in MotoGP eight years ago with a point-and-shoot riding style at odds with Yamaha's corner-speed-DNA YZR-M1. American Colin Edwards—Crutchlow's Tech 3 teammate at the time and also from a production-bike background—appeared comparatively at home on the prototype 800cc four-cylinder machine.

“Colin was making it look so easy,” said the 32-year-old Crutchlow, who, after three seasons with Tech 3 and a brief run with Ducati, joined LCR Honda with whom he’s thus far won three races. “He wasn’t having fantastic results, but when you saw him on the bike, he may as well have been just getting out of bed.

“He’s so naturally gifted at riding a motorcycle, maybe better than anybody else in this paddock as a natural talent. But he wasn’t willing to put in the effort that others were, a lot of the time because he didn’t have to. He was incredibly smooth. I remember he crashed twice in one year; at one point, I crashed four times in one weekend.”

Crutchlow struggled to change his riding style to suit the Yamaha. "It was very difficult. I remember Colin saying to me when he left, 'The bike next year will suit you a lot more.' The 800s were so much different to the Superbike, whereas the 1,000cc was at least a little bit closer. When I rode the 800s, they were like Scalextric bikes.

Circuit of The Americas
Cal Crutchlow’s best finish in his 2011 rookie season was a fourth in Valencia, Spain. He’s since earned three wins and 16 podiums. On Sunday at Circuit of The Americas, Crutchlow (35) qualified seventh but crashed in the race and finished 19th.LCR Honda

“You used to brake, open the throttle, brake, open the throttle, and that was it, especially the Yamaha. And that was difficult to get my head around when it had such a different feeling than the Superbike. I managed it in the end. Maybe now I couldn’t ride a Superbike anymore. I have no idea.”

Fans may one day again have the opportunity to see Crutchlow on a Superbike. In the same candid interview conducted this past weekend at Circuit of The Americas, the Brit told CW Technical Editor Kevin Cameron and me that, when his days in MotoGP are done, he would consider racing in the Wayne Rainey-led American championship.

"I like the MotoAmerica series," Crutchlow said. "I've never publicly said this, but I will now because it makes no odds with whether I do it or not, my plan was always to come and race AMA Superbike, and it still is. But I want it to be back at the level it was when Neil Hodgson was doing it, when Jake Zemke, Ben Spies, and Mat Mladin were really battling.

“I’ve already said to the Honda US guys,” ‘Make sure you build a factory Superbike team because I want to be in it.’ That’s a true story. ”

"The bikes were full-trick, and the tire manufacturers were really in it, as well. I'm not trying to change the series because I want to race there. I mean, I want it to be like that for when I come and race it. I've always wanted to race Daytona. I've always wanted to win Daytona." A staple of the series under previous leadership, the annual 200-miler is not part of the MotoAmerica schedule.

“I’ve already said to the Honda US guys,” Crutchlow added, ‘Make sure you build a factory Superbike team because I want to be in it.’ That’s a true story. That’s what I want to do. I want to come and live in America and continue to race a motorbike. The tracks in the US are similar—dusty, hard, bumpy—to what I’m from, like Oulton Park and Cadwell Park.

Cal Crutchlow
“The best thing I ever, ever saw and wanted to be in—and I’m so gutted I never had the opportunity—was the AMA Formula Xtreme class,” Crutchlow said. “That would have suited me down to the ground: 600s with slicks and tuned to the hilt.”Kevin Wing

“I love that kind of racing. So I still want to do that. I think the riders are good, but it needs to be where they get the ex-World Superbike racers back. Toni Elias is a good rider. That’s what I want to do, and I hope it works out. I’ve won races in every championship, and my plan would be to win races in MotoAmerica.”