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Cal Crutchlow Joins Ducati MotoGP for 2014

Thursday, August 1, 2013
English news agency BBC is reporting that MotoGP racer Cal Crutchlow has inked a deal with the Ducati Corse squad to ride a factory-prepped Desmosedici for the next two years in the MotoGP Championship. Crutchlow will replace Nicky Hayden and ride alongside Andrea Dovizioso.

Crutchlow, 27, is currently on his last season with the Monster Tech 3 Team who competes on second tier Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycles. Crutchlow has come on strong recently and though he has yet to net a race win he has achieved a pole position and numerous podium finishes this season. Currently he is fifth in the World Championship, just one point behind nine-time champ Valentino Rossi.

Keen to stay inside the Yamaha garage the English rider was hoping to move up to the factory team, but since both seats are already filled by Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi, there simply wasn’t any room. It’s the same story on the Tech 3 side with both M1 seats taken by rookie Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, who currently competes in the spec-engine Moto 2 series.

For the next two years the Englishman is going to have a difficult task ahead of him considering that the red bike from Bologna claimed the MotoGP careers of multiple riders, including Marco Melandri, Nicky Hayden and almost even the greatest of all-time, Valentino Rossi, due to poor development and on-track results. In the last six years recently retired two-time champ Casey Stoner was the only person able to tame the beast winning races and a championship aboard the Ducati in 2007.

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Valentino Rossi
Who is the most popular MotoGP racer in the world? Valentino Rossi. Learn more about Valentino Rossi in Motorcycle USA's Valentino Rossi page for career highlights, pictures, and news.

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RaptorFA   August 2, 2013 08:09 AM
Piglet 2010, I agree with you that Audi does set the bar at the highest level - but they don't really know the MotoGP business just yet, so this is why I think their presence has not really been felt yet. They have been sitting back watching and what they are seeing is just not up that level. Look for some sweeping changes if they really want Ducati to become competitive again - Vittoriano Guareschi just has to go. This guy is more concerned with facial hair than running a competent team! Ciabatti better watch his head too - Mr. Gobmeir will not take the fall for him, that is for sure! They are supposed to have a lot of new stuff coming in September, so we will see if that makes any difference. It would really suck for Nicky if it did - he will test it and verify it, and then Cal gets to go race it next year. In fact, worse case scenario would call for Audi to pull the GPxx platform off the grid after 2014 for a season or 2 and not return until they have a bike that will compete at the level it needs to. I will be watching what happens over there after Valencia with great anticipation. I'm sure Cal be will too!
bradvanhorn   August 2, 2013 06:22 AM
I wish Ducati good luck next year but at present I see little reason to expect better results with Cal Crutchlow on the team. I hope Cal can make something happen but the skeptic in me says Cal has just signed the deal the begins the decline of his career. (If only Cal could have taken over Pedrosa's ride at Honda...)

I'm sad to see Nicky Hayden's MotoGP career come to an end, even though it really was no surprise. I know MotoGP is the most lucrative racing series but I'd like to see Nicky, and also Ben Spies, return to World Superbike so we can have at least one competent U.S. rider in that field.

Piglet2010   August 1, 2013 04:13 PM
Audi has not been in the habit of failing at racing, and I do not see them starting now.
RaptorFA   August 1, 2013 03:00 PM
Sad but most likely true. If I were him, I would ride my @ss off in the second half! But knowing Cal's nature, that is a given anyway. It would be extra nice for him to nip all the factory boys at least one time and stand on the top step. Then he can go do battle with the Desmo Diablo! He'd have one GP notch in his belt, and that would be good. Maybe even appropriate.
RaptorFA   August 1, 2013 12:48 PM
Well, I wish Crutch luck. I think as much as he wanted to stay with the contending Yamaha machine, going out and signing Pol Espargaro was the final straw. Cal is at a critical point in his career, a point where he needs to make his money, not just win. Obviously Ducati offered it to him (the money), and Jarvis, the ruthless bugger that he is stabbed him in the back, so it was no real surprise to me to see this occur. Now if only Ducati can find a combination that will make this package work so he and Dovi can go out and kick some Yamaha Butt! Alas, I do not see it happening. This GPxx platform is doomed to be a mid-pack machine, and the only cure is to go clean sheet. I would love to be wrong on this. We'll see. We'll also see how Cal looks in red!
AKmoto   August 1, 2013 12:43 PM
2013. The last time Cal Crutchlow stood on the podium.