Nicky Hayden says he is not convinced that Cal Crutchlow’s aggressive and all-action riding style will match with Ducati’s factory Desmosedici like some people have predicted.
Crutchlow himself has spoken of the fact that his riding style is similar to that of reigning MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner, who remains the only rider to master the Ducati after he won the 2007 title and 23 races for the Bologna factory.
The British rider is currently pondering a lucrative two-year offer to quit the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad and join Ducati’s factory effort, as was exclusively revealed by MCN last month.
But 2006 world champion Hayden says the belief that Stoner used an aggressive riding style to tame the Desmosedici is a myth.
The Kentucky rider, who claimed a third top six finish of the season in Assen last weekend behind Crutchlow, told MCN: “Cal has got the right attitude and he is not going to give up real easy but he was fighting that Yamaha a lot to be racing with me.
"He’s not going to have to fight that Ducati any less. I know people say he rides a lot like Stoner but from where I’m sitting I don’t see him riding a lot like Stoner. From where I watch there is a little difference there. I don’t want to sound like a hater just because they are offering him my bike but we’ll see.
"Cal is a good rider obviously but to say he rides like Stoner I’m not sure. People think you got to be aggressive on the Ducati but when you see Stoner go fast on it he let the bike move.
"The bike moved a lot but he didn’t. He was smooth and he never fought the bike. He let the bike move under him. With Cal the bike moves but also he moves a lot.
"Of course it is interesting and he has got a lot of potential. He’s got the right attitude and he won’t give up after the first couple of crashes so it will be interesting to see. Cal is fast and he has beaten me about every race this year so I’m not going to be silly to say anything.
"He rides hard and that’s the one thing this bike needs, to be aggressive and to heat the tyres.”
Ducati’s two-year proposal to Crutchlow has left Hayden’s future in the air and he has already been linked with a Ducati factory WSB effort on the new Panigale with Carlos Checa in 2013.
Ducati had an option on Hayden that expired after the Assen race but he has only had brief discussions with Ducati about remaining in MotoGP.
For the latest news on Crutchlow’s future, see the July 4 issue of Motor Cycle News.