A Leap In The Dark? Why Cal Crutchlow’s Move To Ducati May Be Smarter…

11 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи A Leap In The Dark? Why Cal Crutchlow’s Move To Ducati May Be Smarter… отключены
Ducati 65 T

A Leap In The Dark? Why Cal Crutchlow’s To Ducati May Be Smarter Than It

Submitted by David Emmett on 2013-08-11 01:45

The news Cal Crutchlow has signed a two-year with Ducati led to howls of from MotoGP fans, among those in the UK. Why, asked, would Crutchlow leave the Tech 3 Yamaha and the as-near-factory-as-possible M1 to take on the miserable of taming the Ducati?

Why throw another year on a bike he knows he can score podiums, and even wins on, in exchange for a bike which has been a failure since Casey last climbed off it and headed door to the Repsol Honda If Valentino Rossi, the biggest and most politically powerful in motorcycle racing couldn’t the bike competitive, what does Crutchlow stand?

only Crutchlow himself understands the motives behind his he has left plenty of evidence some insight into why he has for Ducati. Though fans the world have tried to to a single reason — either money or having a bike — the decision-making is far, far more complex that. It is a case study of the thought process that behind the decisions a rider make when steering his

With so little time at their peak, and so many outside of their control, the a rider makes are not as clear-cut and as the fans would like to be.

So why did Crutchlow go to Ducati? There is no answer to that question. had a number of options on the table, but not all led to the goal. His objective, Crutchlow has it clear on numerous occasions, is to win and challenge for the title.

Winning requires a competitive bike, and is no argument that the satellite he currently rides is capable of just that.

Challenging for a is more difficult — the argument that the current of competition makes it virtually in the first place. The priority of manufacturer is their own factory which means the factory gets all the resources at the factory’s The new parts go to the factory riders the factory teams get the best the most support, have the engineers.

When a factory has a problem, he becomes that highest priority. When a rider has a problem, that is at once the factory engineers are with the factory riders. that, there is good to believe that manufacturers do not satellite riders beating factory riders — all, it would not impress the team’s sponsors in the slightest.

Just how actively the factories their superiority is up for debate,

So if a rider believes he is good to win a championship — and the truth is, single rider on the grid that; if they don’t, cannot justify the enormous sacrifice they have to to compete in any form of elite — then they to be in a factory team. Satellite are useful as a way station en route to a team, or as a substitute when are willing to give cast guarantees of support. But a ride in a team remains the ultimate and any other team is just a stone along the way.

meant there was no future at for Crutchlow. The Japanese factory have Jorge Lorenzo, the best rider of the moment (at until Marc Marquez up to speed), and their best of a MotoGP title. At 26 years of Lorenzo has plenty of racing in him, and shows no sign of until he is into his thirties.

He remain Yamaha’s main challenger for the medium term, they find another capable of taking his place, as Lorenzo was drafted in to take place.

Yamaha also Valentino Rossi, clearly competitive and an icon of the sport. can still win races, and he can surely sell bikes, and will to be a hugely important marketing for Yamaha once he finally to retire. In a recent interview the German website Speedweek, said he hoped to sign on for two years after his contract at the end of 2014, and it goes without that Yamaha will be to offer him such a deal.

The factory team is full for the future, or at least until By then, Crutchlow would be 31, the age at most motorcycle racers their best years rather than ahead of

Crutchlow also had an offer HRC, with Honda principal Livio Suppo great interest in the British Talks took place on replacing Stefan Bradl at LCR riding the factory-supported RC213V by Lucio Cecchinello’s team. But Crutchlow could have more support at LCR than he have at Tech 3 — stated policy is to have two bikes and two satellite bikes, Honda has much stronger backing for riders in satellite — he still would been playing second to the Repsol Hondas.

A move the factory Honda team is as hard as making the jump the factory Yamaha team. At 20 of age, Marc Marquez has to everyone that he is the future, not for Honda, but for the sport of motorcycle as well. He is having a stellar season, and will remain in the Honda team for as long as he

Dani Pedrosa, too, has a foothold at Repsol Honda, having so far failed to win a title for the He came very close in and is probably favorite for the title year, with MotoGP to hit the tracks at which Pedrosa did so at the end of last year. Pedrosa is the most likely to retire rather than later, but it unlikely he will call it a day at the end of his

Just as at Yamaha, there is no at the Repsol Honda inn for Crutchlow

So if Crutchlow wants a factory any time soon, his best bet is to go to There is a seat available, the Italian factory decided not to Nicky Hayden’s contract. are desperate to get the best talent can on the Desmosedici, and as his podiums demonstrate, is one of the best in the world.

But a factory has proven to be a very long way being competitive, with the last win coming in 2010 in the of Casey Stoner, the only man of riding round the Desmosedici’s Since Stoner left podiums have only in exceptional circumstances, when a wet or chronic lack of practice has shaken up the established order. The is clearly badly flawed, and in its incarnation, Cal Crutchlow is unlikely to get so as a whiff of the podium without the gods taking pity on his

Crutchlow’s hope is that the will improve enough year for him to be closer to the front. But the dismal history of the past of years, and the bike’s long since Casey Stoner won the championship back when could build a tire suited to the Desmosedici, any hope of at Ducati seems optimistic to the of naivety. After all, if wouldn’t change for Valentino why would they change for

Rossi had the power to badly Ducati’s brand when he out against their inactivity a power he used very and very strategically — of the status Rossi has. 106 80 in the premier class, and a total of 9 titles means that his ability is beyond doubt. It was the problem was with the bike, and yet were still incapable of the changes necessary to turn the into a competitive MotoGP

Why would Crutchlow be successful the most famous motorcycle on the face of the planet had failed?

Hopelessly naive? Not necessarily. are reasons to believe that the at Ducati is now very different to the one by Valentino Rossi.

Very in large part precisely of Rossi’s failure at the firm. The that Rossi and his crew, led by the Jeremy Burgess, failed to the bike competitive was proof, if any needed, that the problem was the bike.

Rossi arrived at thinking that the bike needed a little work to it from winning races in the hands of Casey Stoner to a genuinely competitive racing After all, if Stoner was of regular podiums on the bike, he, Valentino Rossi, should be to match those results and development in the right direction. was rudely disabused of any notion of competitive on the bike the very time he rode it.

It was much, worse than he thought it and he understood that he had underestimated how much of the Ducati’s success was to Stoner’s freakish ability to around problems.

That left the problem of bike At Qatar, in an informal chat, a of Rossi’s crew suggested the state of the Desmosedici was a measure of Stoner’s inability to lead development properly. Having to Stoner at his race weekend debriefs for the past three I was sceptical. I knew that had been pushing for changes had simply not been delivered.

The you start the season with was the you ended the season with, he had repeatedly. This impression was when I was taken aside by a spokesperson and had emphasized to me just how Ducati were doing for They had brought a set of triple I was told, with modified

Compared to the four or more iterations which the Japanese were used to throwing at riders every season, I was by Ducati’s arguments. By the time Rossi and his crew left they too were unconvinced. had changed, more than before in the history of the factory, the abandoning of the frameless chassis but it had been directionless change, all and fury but no motion.

Ducati was furiously, while remained rooted to the spot.

In the meantime, real change had started to Halfway through what be Rossi’s final year at the company was bought by Audi. the deal was viewed by most industry insiders as a vanity by Audi boss Ferdinand there was no doubt that was serious about making a of the Italian bike manufacturer it had bought.

It took six months for management to analyze the company, at point they started to changes to the organization. Filippo the likable and brilliant engineer who had led Corse since 1999, was aside to make way for Bernhard a German who had previously been for chassis development at BMW. Cicognani was relieved of his role of project director, replaced by former WSBK chief Ciabatti.

Less visibly, Audi to make internal changes at focusing on changing working and shortening communication lines. process continues today, considerable internal resistance Ducati Corse’s engineering who face a radical shake up in way of working. The rigid hierarchy is making way for a more flexible flattening the organization to make it efficient.

Ducati Corse was for its technical brilliance and its incredible ethic, but not for its effectiveness as an organization. is where Audi is focusing efforts, but such organizational take time. The best scenario is that it can be done a year; a more realistic says it will be two years Ducati Corse is fully up to

Ducati 65 T

Cal Crutchlow joins Ducati a after Audi first making serious changes to the He will once again be a garage with his former Andrea Dovizioso, who left 3 at the end of 2012 to become a factory rider. In a way, Crutchlow’s is more favorable than as the Italian joined just as the changes were starting, Crutchlow moves to Ducati as are in full swing.

Dovizioso has little practical progress, but he has the victim of his decision to move rather than later. Corse may have been busy changing, but the focus has on the organization rather than the

The new engineering and testing process at the beginning of the season has seen changes come to the bike the new chassis Dovizioso debuted at the is the first major step to out of this process — and are several more to come. changes will come Misano, but the underlying problem a weight distribution problem by a poorly packaged engine and — will have to until next year at the Ducati Corse is now shifting its from organizational changes to engineering, and only now will the and production of new parts start to up.

There are signs everywhere of intention to change. Warren the man who helped Kenny Roberts Jr win the 500cc title, and who has been in many extremely successful projects, has been brought in to Ducati on their MotoGP Ducati is rumored to be looking to more top talent, courting engineer Gigi Dall’Igna probably unsuccesfully) as well as Ducati World Superbike Davide Tardozzi.

The old guard has been swept almost completely, and a group of competent leaders with records are being brought in.

clearly want to win, but as clearly, wanting to win is not enough. The factory has put all of the right pieces in to drastically improve its chances, and is going through the painful of taking a long and critical at its internal organization and working If ever there was a time Ducati was on the right path, is it.

The trouble is, of course, that Ducati are busy turning ship around, Honda and are steaming ahead, long with their technology and their engineering process since settled. Even Ducati get going in the right they still have an lot of catching up to do.

And so Cal Crutchlow has taken a one of the biggest in his career. Bigger his leap from BSB to the World class, and perhaps as big as his move a factory World Superbike to a satellite team in MotoGP. He is that Ducati will be once he arrives, and will enough progress in his time at the for him to be back with a shout at the or at least regularly winning

If he succeeds, he will stamp his firmly on the series, and cement his among MotoGP’s ‘aliens’. He strengthen both his own and Ducati’s following in the footsteps of Carl who led the Italian factory to so much in the World Superbike championship.

But if his gamble doesn’t pay off? if the hoped-for progress fails to Isn’t Crutchlow stuck at for two painful years, just as Rossi was before him? Not While Crutchlow is the victim of timing this year, as the major rider to be out of contract, at the end of almost everyone’s contract is up for

He has another shot for 2015, with Suzuki set to join the opening up two more factory in MotoGP.

But wait, I hear you Crutchlow has a two-year deal Ducati, and is stuck there the end of 2015. Surely he won’t be in the for all of the factory rides which be open for the 2015 season? he shot himself in the foot by up for two seasons?

Maybe. If Crutchlow is — and after spending a amount of time talking to the rider, he certainly is that, more than he likes to let on in — he will have his manager Bob Moore to insert a clause in the Ducati contract, him the option to quit after a single year.

Anyone signing for Ducati want to have an option to early, and if Ducati want top then they will to grant them such an to get them to sign in the first If there are no signs of progress by the of the 2014 season, Crutchlow surely be making it clear to any who wish to pursue him that he is for the right price.

At first Crutchlow’s decision to go to Ducati foolish, either stupidly in the hope of progress from the factory, or nakedly greedy in his of cash. Yet while Crutchlow be handsomely paid — bandied around suggest he receive a base salary of 2.5 euros a season, over times his basic pay of 300,000 at Tech 3 — his decision is as naive nor as cynical as it may seem.

His of a factory ride may seem given the current level of the but there are real grounds for that the Italian factory has to turn itself around. will be good for Crutchlow, but of all, it will be good for The two-horse race between and Honda is simply too limiting to the championship meaningful.

Having competitive will add prestige to the and will put Crutchlow back at the of MotoGP.

Cal Crutchlow’s move to is a calculated gamble, and like all it requires some bets to be The Englishman is betting that will have changed to be competitive, and he will have an escape route should turn out not to be the case. Yes, he is a big risk by moving to the one factory in which has so vary publicly to build a competitive bike.

But what has changed already, and Ducati must surely told Crutchlow about plans for the future, it may not quite be the in the dark which so many of his believe it is. It might just out, but if it doesn’t, Cal Crutchlow had have a parachute to hand.

Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T
Ducati 65 T


Tagged as:

Other articles of the category "Ducati":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts


Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.