Cal Crutchlow has become the latest rider to make the step up from BSB to the World Superbike stage after signing a contract with Yamaha World Supersport.
The 22-year-old, who has signed for the Japanese factory team just two weeks after fellow BSB rider Tom Sykes was confirmed as Yamaha’s replacement for Noriyuki Haga in the World Superbikes Championship, will partner Frenchman Fabien Foret in next season’s World Supersport Championship.
Crutchlow has secured a respectable two wins, 10 podiums, three poles and 265 points for HM Plant Honda this season and impressed during a World Superbikes wildcard entry at Donington Park back in August.
The Coventry-born rider started his career at Yamaha from the start, making his name in the Virgin Mobile Yamaha R6 Cup, taking 2nd place in the 2003 competition and getting the help up to premier British road racing. He moved on to race in the British Supersport Championship, finishing 10th in 2004, 3rd in 2005 and winning the championship in 2006. Championship wins have marked his career from the start, including 1st place in the 1999 UK Junior Challenge and 1st place in the 2001 Aprilia RS 125 Challenge.
Speaking about the new deal, Crutchlow said: “I’m really looking forward to the experience. To go into what is in my eyes the top team in the World Supersport paddock and have the opportunity to challenge for a world title with Yamaha is very exciting. I’m really looking forward to next season, I can’t wait!”
Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg added: “We’ve been talking to many strong riders over the last couple of months and have been following Cal’s progress this year in The British Superbike Championship, he’s really impressed us. We’re convinced that his riding style will suit our YZF R6 very well. He’s a very good Supersport rider, we know that coming from Superbikes to Supersport riders don’t have any issues with speed. The 2009 championship will be tough again and we have seen him prove on track that he is happy to get in the middle of the pack and fight for the win.”