The three-time premier class race winner joined LCR in 2015 after a difficult year at Ducati, and became an official HRC-contracted rider in ’17.
He extended that deal through to the end of ’20 prior to last year’s British Grand Prix, but admitted then there was a strong possibility he could retire once it expires.
When asked by Motorsport.com if this was still the case, he said he still has the “dedication” to continue, but the physical strain on his body due to numerous injuries is making him believe this contract will be his last.
“It’s a hard one, honestly, because me – physically – I feel it will be my last one,” Crutchlow said in an interview organised by UK MotoGP broadcaster BT Sport. “Mentally, I feel like I could continue and race forever, but that’s never going to happen.
“After my injury last year [he badly broke his right ankle at Phillip Island, missing the final three races], after the injuries I’ve had over my career, it gets more and more difficult to be in the condition I feel I need to be in to be competitive.
“I absolutely love what I do, and my determination and my passion for the sport is second-to-none, I feel. The dedication that I have to be competitive, I still feel I’ve got that and I still feel I will have that.
“But I’ll always be the guy to say that if I wake up one day and I’m not motivated to go out cycling, which I do to prepare for my racing, or if I don’t have the motivation to want to do this, then I won’t do it.
“It’s too risky a sport to be playing around with, you can’t be half-hearted and I’ve never felt that.”
Crutchlow feels he still has the pace to keep racing, which is part of “the problem” in deciding whether to continue or not – but says talks have already been had between himself and Honda about staying past ’20.
“I’m still fast, that’s the problem,” he added. “I go into every circuit and I’m going faster than what I went last year. The problem is, the competition is so high.
“I’m not getting any younger, I’ll be 35 at the end of my contract. I’m absolutely 100 percent positive I can stay in Honda and have another contract with them.
“It’s already been discussed. But we’ll see how it goes.
“I’ve enjoyed my career, I’ve had a good time, I’ve had bad times, but at the end of the day I’ve given absolutely my 100 percent and that’s all I can ask of myself, and half the time that’s been my own downfalls as well.
“But I don’t know. Honestly, the question has been asked of me many times and I keep saying the same thing – I don’t know. And that’s not me doubting whether I should or saying I shouldn’t.
“I’ll just have to see how this year ends and how next year starts.”
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Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images