Race talk: Crutchlow, Dovizioso re-sign, Marquez and Baker get rematch, more


Here are a few updates from the world of MotoGP.

While onlookers wondered if Cal Crutchlow would exercise his contract’s opt-out option and leave the Ducati factory MotoGP team at the end of 2014. It turns out that’s not happening, though, as he’s confirmed he’s sticking around until the end of 2015, when his current contract expires.

“We need to keep working hard in the second half of the year,” Crutchlow said. “I am certain that they are working hard in the factory in Italy. We hope to keep getting closer to the front guys. Marc (Marquez) seems like he is from another planet but Andrea (Iannone) beat him in the past.”

His teammate Andrea Dovizioso also showed he’s serious about sticking with Ducati, announcing he’s signed a new two-year contract with the factory team. He’s had much more success than Crutchlow this year, with two podiums aboard the Ducati, so it was hardly a surprise that he’d stay aboard.

“We’ve reached an agreement and this is because it’s an interesting project which is beginning to bear fruit with the arrival of (Luigi) Dall’Igna,” said Dovizioso. “We’ve had two podiums already this season and we are fourth in the World Championship. The current situation is really exciting, especially with the plans for 2015 in mind.”

Speaking of Ducati Corse Managing Director Luigi dall’Igna, the man had some words of hope for fans after taking in the Ducati love-in at World Ducati Week.

“What I saw in Misano was quite unique, something only the motorcycle manufacturers from Borgo Panigale could possibly achieve. I knew there would be plenty of human warmth from the public but I never thought there’d be this much. It made me realise that we absolutely have to get back into the business of winning, for them too, to honour the brand they love so much. We’ll give it everything we can.”

Of course, it’s not the first time such promises have been made, but dall’Igna has a history of winning and was brought in to clean up the existing mess. Results haven’t been there for Crutchlow, but Dovizioso is closer to the front of the pack than expected, so maybe the future really is bright after all.

In other MotoGP news – Marc Marquez lost to AMA flat track champ Brad Baker last time they met up at January’s Superprestigio dirt track race in Barcelona. Baker must be feeling pretty good about himself, because that’s the only time anyone has beat Marquez in a race so far this year.

His bragging rights might be due for cancellation, though, as Baker and Marquez are having a rematch of sorts. They’re going to race again at the Sant Jordi arena on December 13, along with some other AMA racers and several other MotoGP stars. Baker and Marquez both said they were looking forward to the race; Marquez, with typical enthusiasm, calling it a “magical event.”

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