When Cal Crutchlow left Yamaha’s Tech 3 team for Ducati’s factory squad last year, plenty of onlookers predicted he’d have trouble with the machine. After having to retire early from Jerez race, Crutchlow seems to think they were right.
Four races in to the MotoGP season, Crutchlow’s had a rough year aboard the Italian machine. His transponder malfunctioned at Qatar in the opener, due to an electrical problem. Then, he blamed a crash at the Austin GP on tires (not the bike’s fault). He had to sit out the Argentina round with a broken hand, but was looking forward to success at Jerez over the weekend, once he’d mended.
That didn’t happen. Crutchlow ended up in the pits after five laps at Jerez, pounding his gas tank in frustration. He’d started ninth and passed five riders in four laps, but a problem with his front brakes meant he almost took out Yonny Hernandez. Crutchlow wisely parked the bike after that.
Crutchlow was extremely sour about the incident.
““I am very disappointed with today’s result, especially because I got a great start and the feeling with my bike in the race was the best I’ve had all weekend. I was making up a lot of places and was up to ninth when my brakes failed,” he said.
“I slowed down for a lap to try and see if they would work again, but they didn’t and I pulled in just to be on the safe side, but it was clear that I had no brake lever working. It’s a pity, because I was happy and comfortable on the bike in the early stages.”
Crutchlow went on to rip his team in the press, wondering aloud how they could celebrate in the midst of breakdowns, and when their machines struggle to compete at the best of times.
This definitely isn’t what Crutchlow was looking forward to when he moved to Ducati, but it’s also important to remember he has a one-year exit clause in his contract. If he wants to, he can leave at the end of this season. And hey, Suzuki might be looking for a rider around that time, if their plan to return to MotoGP in 2015 works out. Maybe it’ll work out for Crutchlow after all?
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[…] Crutchlow, who was openly unhappy with his team’s performance after the Jerez race, seems to have calmed down a bit, saying “We went back towards the base […]