Andrea Dovizioso: Crutchlow won’t be too down after Ducati debut
Andrea Dovizioso doesn’t believe that new factory Ducati teammate Cal Crutchlow will be too disheartened after the British rider’s first ride on the struggling Desmosedici in Spain last week.
Crutchlow finished a three-day Valencia test down in 12th on the timesheets and he was a massive 1.5s behind new world champion Marc Marquez.
Dovizioso was only 0.2s faster than Crutchlow and the Italian is coming off the back of a miserable 2013 campaign that saw him fail to score a single podium.
It was only a year ago that Dovizioso became the most successful rider in the history of Herve Poncharal’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad with six podiums in 2012.
Dovizioso only scored two top six finishes all season at Ducati and now Crutchlow has made the same leap of faith for 2014.
The 28-year-old has jumped off the Tech 3 YZR-M1 to move to Ducati, but Dovizioso doesn’t believe his slow pace in Valencia should alarm the Briton.
The former 125GP world champion said: “I think he didn't expect everything to be as he has found it but it was more or less what he expected, so I don't think he will be too down. He will be a little but not too much.
"The important part is to start improving and that’s what we didn't make this year and it is what we need. The problem will be if next year it is still like this for me and Cal."
Dovizioso and Crutchlow are certainly no strangers to each other having enjoyed several close battles on track while at Tech 3 Yamaha last year.
Asked how he felt they would work together again but in completely different circumstances at Ducati, Dovizioso added: "It is the same but different from Tech 3 because we couldn't test anything new for the bike. We could just try to fix the set-up.
"Now we are in completely different situation and we are able to improve everything at Ducati, so it is different but he is the same Cal. I am OK with him. He is really funny when he explains the problems, so it is nice be his teammate."