“I’m looking forward to meeting the team in Austria, although there will be some familiar faces for me because Wilco Zeelenberg was my Team Manager in Supersport in 2009 and I actually raced against Johan Stigefelt some years ago, so it’s going to be a pleasure to be back with them.”
The Brit could’ve been on the bike even earlier. Indications of friction within the Yamaha camp were given when it was revealed during the Dutch GP that Zeelenberg wanted Crutchlow in to replace Morbidelli at Assen, but was instead given Yamaha World Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff, whom he described as a “gamble”.
“Clearly I wanted Cal on the bike, he knows Assen and he is the test rider,” Zeelenberg told MotoGP.com. “On the other side we did not have to replace a rider at this track, but there is a bit of pressure from the situation to have a satellite team and a title for them, so we wanted to have two riders on the bike.
“We know Franco’s injury will take some time and we wanted to give experience to the boys that haven’t been here. Garrett is a bit of a gamble we have to admit, it is risky.”