03 August 2013 - 02:30
Cal Crutchlow moves to Ducati for 2014-15
Saw this one coming the very day Nicky Hayden announced this year would be his last as a MotoGP rider for Ducati, didn't we? Cal Crutchlow, ever since he entered the MotoGP scene in 2009, has tried really hard to find a factory ride, and this year, at least so far, has put his best foot forward to try and make a case for the same. With Hayden's announcement, the only real choice he had was that vacant seat at Ducati, and - no prizes for guessing - Cal's taken it.
You see, the stars have all aligned perfectly for Crutchlow to switch to a factory team. He has churned out solid performances this season, and is the leading satellite rider by a country mile. He has never played down his desire to be a part of a factory team, but he hasn't had a lot of options, has he? Lorenzo and Rossi have Yamaha contracts that run up to the end of 2015, Marquez and Pedrosa are set for another two years at Repsol Honda, and Suzuki will only be back 2015. He could only choose between continuing with Tech 3, or jumping ship to LCR Honda or Ducati (a team that last won a race in 2010, during Casey Stoner's glory days). Naturally, the charms of a factory seat were too tempting to ignore.
It is a two-year contract, the one that Cal has just signed with Ducati. Which means there is also a gap that needs to be filled at Tech 3. And filled it has been, with the signing of Moto2 sensation Pol Espargaro. Yep, after giving Scott Redding (who has also mentioned a move to MotoGP next season) a run for his money in the Moto2 races this season, Pol will graduate to the premier class next year, and will pilot that satellite Yamaha alongside Bradley Smith. His elder brother Aleix, a CRT rider in the same class, might just be one envious sibling.
Right then. Crutchlow riding for Ducati next season. Good move, or...who are we kidding, how could this be a good move? Or could it? What do you think, TG.commers?