Cal Crutchlow: 'I'm still motivated'

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 16 June 2014 19:10

Cal Crutchlow reckons his motivation has not suffered a massive jolt after a nightmare start to his Ducati career.

The British rider retired with an electronics issue in yesterday’s thrilling Catalunya clash and has now failed to finish in five out of seven races on the Desmosedici GP14.

And during a one-day test session at the Barcelona track, Crutchlow was down in 13th on the timesheets with no new parts to test, despite Ducati struggling to significantly close the gap to Japanese rivals Honda and Yamaha.

While Crutchlow and teammate Andrea Dovizioso had nothing more than a few different electronic settings to test, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were evaluating a 2015-spec YZR-M1 motor, new exhaust and numerous other components.

Asked by MCN if he thought it strange that Ducati is not rolling out new parts quicker when it is failing to match the pace of Yamaha and Honda, the 28-year-old said: “It seems strange to me as well. There is only so much information you can give and only so many times you can give information. I gave it when I first rode it in November and the bike is a little bit better this year but fundamentally it has the same problems. We need to come up with something but we know it is not going to happen before the end of the year. So there is no point in asking any more.”

Ducati is still plagued by a severe understeer issue and Crutchlow admitted during the Barcelona race weekend that he has no confidence to push.

But he denied a wretched season was starting to have an impact on his morale and motivation.

The former World Supersport champion added: “I stay motivated every week. I leave no stone unturned when turning up to every race. It is difficult to know you can’t compete because you can’t compete. This bike over one lap I can’t compete with the other guys. And as soon as we lose the grip with it, I don’t have the feeling Dovi has because he rides in a different way. I am not going to change my style to suit this bike for one year. If I do that and the bike next year is completely different again then you’ve got to change back again. I have learnt to ride like one of the best in the championship (Lorenzo) and carrying corner speed to get out of the corner but it doesn’t work with this bike. The only thing that works with this bike is straight line braking. That’s where I am weak. If you improve the straight line braking you still can’t enter the corner how I like anyway and that’s where I am losing all the time. I just don’t have the confidence to enter the corner.”

Asked if the size of the task in making the Desmosedici competitive was bigger than he anticipated when he quit the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad at the end of 2013, Crutchlow said: “It is not my task to fix the bike. I ride the bike and give information. We are still too far away from the factory bikes. Andrea does well in the races and he is able to compete with the likes of Pol but he is a rookie.”

Ducati hasn’t won a race since the end of 2010 and Crutchlow added: “We should be able to beat them and a factory team should be top six. And we are not able to be competitive with the other factories. Dovi and I can’t fix the bike. Iannone and Hernandez are riding it as fast as possible because they want jobs and they are riding well. I have no argument in saying they are riding better than me. But I don’t think I need to take any risks any more. We have given them the information they need and we will see what they bring.”