Cal Crutchlow is looking forward to two things in 2015: Riding the Honda RC213V, and pranking new teammate Jack Miller.
Crutchlow had an abysmal season aboard the Ducati factory bike in 2014. With his hefty paycheck in pocket, he’s now with LCR Honda, choosing to opt out of his two-year contract with the Italian team. He’s new teammates with Jack Miller, promoted all the way from Moto3, and will be riding the RC213V, the MotoGP machine Honda sells to non-factory teams.
That’s an arrangement Miller is familiar with; during his days with Tech 3, he achieved podium finishes, but his bike was never competitive with the Yamaha factory team’s.
“You are never going to get exactly what Dani and Marc have got, because they are the factory riders,” said Crutchlow. “You are always one step behind. But I’m excited to see what Honda bring out and they always bring out a fantastic motorcycle which is competitive.”
Crutchlow also said he thinks it will be interesting to have Jack Miller as a teammate. He said he won’t be giving the Aussie rookie many tips, as he figures Miller can work it out for himself; besides, Miller actually has more time aboard the Honda than Crutchlow does at this point.
“We know what he is capable of and I’m sure there is going to be a good atmosphere in our garage, with having Jack there and having me,” Crutchlow said. “I’ll think of a few practical jokes for him, but the first thing we need to do is shave his mullet off!”
If we actually see that joviality, it’ll be a big change from 2014, when Crutchlow spent most of the season grimly stating Ducati’s MotoGP bike wasn’t up to snuff. If he gets good results at the start of 2015, he’ll likely be more more cheerful. If not, well, it might be a long, grumpy season if Miller beats the pants off Crutchlow every weekend.
When the Sepang test starts on Feb. 4, Crutchlow reckons he’ll be a bit slow to start. He’s been bicycling to stay in shape, mostly staying away from motorcycles, except for a bit of motocross) and recovering from surgery will. He had a plate taken out of his collarbone to clear up some arthritis, and he says he’s still in pain after the procedure, but he figures he’ll heal nicely in the long run.