Cal Crutchlow: ‘I’m not afraid of riding the Ducati’

By Matthew Birt -


 01 June 2012 18:34

British rider Cal Crutchlow says he would have no fears about trying to tame Ducati’s notoriously finicky Desmosedici if the Bologna factory offered him a 2013 MotoGP deal.

Crutchlow’s impressive performances in 2012 have seen him linked with a move to Yamaha’s official factory squad next season.

The 26-year-old though is also likely to be the subject of Honda and Ducati interest having claimed two front row starts and three top five finishes in the opening four rounds of the new 1000cc era.

Valentino Rossi’s struggle to make the Desmosedici competitive has put off some riders from even contemplating riding the GP13 next season.

The Italian has only scored two podiums in 21 races and the only rider to have consistently won and competed at the front with Ducati remains current world champion Casey Stoner.

But Crutchlow, who finished third quickest in today’s opening practice sessions at the Catalunya track near Barcelona, said he would not let Rossi’s poor results sway his decision to join Ducati should he get a future offer.

He told MCN: “I’m not afraid of the Ducati. It is a motorbike and you ride it the best you can. But Valentino is still one of the best riders in the world and he proved that last week. Something at the minute isn’t clicking but anything can happen in MotoGP.  If I look at mine and Casey’s style in how we open the gas and brake, we are quite similar and he is the only one who has been able to ride the Ducati. He is a second faster at half the races but I’m not scared to go and take a chance to go there.”

Crutchlow said he wasn’t getting too occupied with worrying about his future plans at this stage of the season. But the former World Supersport champion confirmed he will be considering all options and talking to a number of teams.

His Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad has only one YZR-M1 up for grabs in 2013 with British Moto2 rider Bradley Smith already signed on a two-year contract.

Crutchlow added: “I’m talking to people but at the end of the day Herve (Poncharal) signed Bradley and maybe that is the best thing to ever happen for me as well, so I can get out as well. I never had a contract for next year anyway but it makes my decision a bit easier if I have one to make. I’m talking to people and I’ve been approached by another team but we will see. I’m speaking to everybody I can. Nothing will happen for two months. Until the best two in the world behind Casey know what they are doing like Jorge and Valentino then I can’t make a decision.”