Cal Crutchlow gets brake upgrade for Catalunya

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Cal Crutchlow will race in this weekend’s Catalunya MotoGP round in Spain with the latest spec 2012 Brembo front brake calipers and pads having backed down on his refusal to buy them out of his pocket.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso is understood to have coughed up for the new brakes out of his own wages earlier this season, leaving Crutchlow on last year’s calipers and pads.

Crutchlow has been adamant that he would not buckle and fork out for the brake parts and only as recently as the French Grand Prix in Le Mans earlier this month he told MCN: “I won’t be buying anything and out of principle I won’t buy it. It is completely wrong because we race in MotoGP and not club racing.

“It is an investment for my career but I could go out and buy a less spec car and that is an investment for my career because I’m spending less money. It is not my job to buy the brakes.

"My job is to race bikes and talk s**t to you guys. I’m not buying those brakes though and I’m quite strong about that because I don’t feel I should be buying them.”

Crutchlow though believes he can longer ignore the performance benefit of the latest spec Brembo equipment and he confirmed in Catalunya today that he his YZR-M1 machine will have the same caliper and pads as Italian Dovizioso.

Speaking to MCN he said: “We have got the brakes and we have also got an invoice for them. I’ve had to go down the same route as Andrea. I will have the new calipers and pads.

"The problem has been that with the 1000cc, the bike is too fast for the pads and calipers that I had, simple as that. The speed of the 1000cc is too fast for last year’s brakes. There is nothing wrong with last year’s brakes but now we are going faster.

"The new brakes have 25% more braking capacity because there is 25% more pad and 25% more caliper. Before they were overheating and there was too much inconsistency with the brake lever.

"One corner it would be really far out and the next far in. And one corner they would work perfectly and the next they wouldn’t work or work too much. To get the consistency I’ve had to buy the brakes. Who is paying for them? I don’t know but I’ve got an invoice.

"In my opinion a racer in MotoGP should not have to be buying his own brakes. I stuck to my point of not paying for them but now it has got to the point where I feel we had to pay for them.

"My manager is now looking for a personal sponsor to come on board and help pay. But we shouldn’t have to be doing that at this level. It is not going to make me win the race or be a second faster than Casey Stoner in every session. But I need the consistency in the brakes.

"In Estoril it was obvious I couldn't stop in some corners but in others I was running on and in some places I was nearly taking out Andrea because I had no brake left. He was still stopping because he has 25% more braking capacity than me.”

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal confirmed to MCN that the bill had in fact been paid for Dovizioso and Crutchlow’s brakes but it is not clear whether the French team will foot the bill or whether payment will be deducted from their wages at the end of the season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt