2014 MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow May Decide to Leave Ducati in July

Cal Crutchlow 1 photo
The debut year at Ducati for the former Yamaha Tech3 rider Cal Crutchlow was nothing like what both he and his new team hoped for. Cal already has a DNF record of 4 out of 6 races, a thing he’s most likely trying to avoid thinking about several times a day. At the same time, he’s definitely contemplating using his pull out clause and put an end to the contract with Ducati at the end of the 2014 season. However, it looks like the summer break could be yet another turning point in his career.
And by all means, Cal is sort of forced to try and play his best card: at 29, there’s not much time left to get as much MotoGP glory and each such decision must be thoroughly weighed. Now, Cal hasn’t made up his mind, or at least we don’t know it, but time is running out. There are only two races left until mid-season, and the summer break is the time for inking deals. Both factories and riders are trying to get the best contracts hoping for higher performance… but neither Ducati nor Crutchlow have too much to show off.

On one hand, Crutchlow’s frustration is easy to understand, after riding a bike which has consistently given up on him on so many occasions. He says that he cannot afford to think about how things COULD be in one years’ time, let alone two. He’s trying to focus on the next race each time, hoping that his team manages to provide him with a bike he can ride across the finish line.

At the other end, Ducati Corse and its boss Gigi Dall’Igna have already started building a new Desmosedici bike for the next season, but Dall’Igna admits his best hopes are seeing the bike in rideable form and condition for the Valencia test. While trying to learn more about where the GP14 fails and find solutions for these problems for the new machine is the best Ducati can do for now, this obviously collides with Crutchlow’s plans to be able to actually ride in the MotoGP.

He’s not at all shy to say that even though his team mates find the GP14 a better machine than the GP13 and sense the improvement, for him the actual bike is a step backwards from his satellite Yamaha. “Until last fall, my career has been on an upward slope. This is not currently the case. So I have to make a decision on what I will do and when will I do something. I can’t tell you anything right now,” Crutchlow says.

Ducati officials are aware that Crutchlow might decide to end his contract and are willing to support him 100%, saying that solutions are on their way, though moving at a rather slow pace. Crutchlow might have an open door back at Tech3, even though Herve Poncharal may be looking for young guns in case Bradley Smith will no longer ride the satellite team.

At the same time, Suzuki might be another factory option for Crutchlow, even though there’s definitely a lot of gambling involved with the Hamamatsu team, as well, with a bike which is still barely keeping the pace with the top Open Class machines on the grid, and whose completely new engine is still to prove its reliability. July brings interesting news for sure, so stay tuned.
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