Cal Crutchlow has signed a two-year deal to race with Ducati’s MotoGP factory team.
For many, this was an obvious move, long in the making. Crutchlow has long been voicing his unhappiness over his treatment on Yamaha’s Tech 3 satellite team.
In his eyes, he’s had the results to prove he’s worthy of an official factory ride, but that wasn’t about to happen. In fact, it looked like he might even be muscled out of Tech 3, in favour of Pol Espargaro. Now, it appears to be a cinch that Espargaro will get that Tech 3 spot.
With no space available on Honda’s top team thanks to Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, and Yamaha’s factory team spots already held by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the only other factory team with an opening is Ducati, now that Nicky Hayden is gone.
The big problem is that in recent years, nobody has been able to win, let alone challenge for the championship, on the Ducati bike. That’s already set online commentators off; the Internet pundits are sagely nodding their heads and saying Crutchlow made this move for the money.
Is that the case? He’s certainly likely to be making a much heftier paycheck with his new employer; however, it sounds as if Crutchlow felt he was being jerked around by his former paycheck signers. The chance to escape that misery may have been irresistible. Let’s hope he doesn’t find himself in a similar situation for the next two years, being asked to win races on a bike that isn’t capable of performing that feat.