LCR and Honda back Cal Crutchlow to bounce back in 2015

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Cal Crutchlow’s new 2015 team boss Lucio Cecchinello and senior Honda management have backed the British rider to bounce back from a torrid spell with Ducati next season.

Crutchlow will switch to the Cecchinello’s LCR Honda squad to ride a factory-backed RC213V after deciding to quit Ducati halfway through a two-year deal.

The 28-year-old has become the latest high profile victim of the unforgiving Desmosedici in 2014 and he heads to his home race at Silverstone this weekend with just four top 10 finishes in 10 appearances.

Crutchlow has been unable to match the pace of Italian duo Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, but he has a golden chance to revive his premier class career by taking the place of German Stefan Bradl at LCR Honda.

And Cecchinello and HRC boss Livio Suppo say they expect the former World Supersport champion to be battling for the podium again in 2015.

Crutchlow scored six podiums in a three-year spell with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad and Cecchinello told MCN: “Cal is having a difficult year and as an ex-rider I know that when something goes wrong with your feeling with the bike your motivation drops.

"Perhaps Cal's expectation of Ducati was very high and for some reason he didn't feel good on the bike and automatically you lose a few tenths. Our focus is to give him the best bike and when he gets the feeling back our clear target is to be with the top four guys.”

HRC boss Suppo admitted that there can be no excuses for Crutchlow not delivering a consistent podium challenge in 2015 now he will have access to an RC213V almost identical in spec to the bike Marquez and Pedrosa.

Suppo told MCN: “Thank God in life a few months is not enough to completely destroy what you have done before. This season has been way below expectations and I am the first one to be surprised because I really believed Cal would be good for Ducati.

I don’t believe that Cal’s potential has disappeared in just a few months. But after a season like this and having a competitive machine like the Honda there can be no more excuses. That must be clear. Next year he has to fight for the podium.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt