MotoGP Championship News
Ducati released Friday the official statement on a story that spread quickly throughout the media Thursday. The not-so shocking news was that the Italian manufacturer signed the Brit Cal Crutchlow for the 2014-2015 MotoGP seasons.
Crutchlow, currently piloting the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1, will fill the vacancy left by Nicky Hayden, who departs with Ducati following the 2013 MotoGP Championship. The American rode with Ducati since 2009; the 2006 MotoGP Champion’s best overall finish was seventh in 2010 MotoGP.
Crutchlow will ride alongside the Andrea Dovizioso, who has signed with Ducati through 2014. Both riders will continue to develop the Desmosedici MotoGP bike.
Ducati says it “would like to thank Nicky for his contributions during that time, and everyone on the team and at Ducati Corse looks forward to giving him and Andrea their full support over the second half of the 2013 season.”
The 2009 World Supersport Champion has proved himself so far in 2013 MotoGP, his third year in the series aboard the satellite Yamaha. To date, he has four podium finishes in nine races, earning him fifth in the championship standings, a point behind Yamaha Factory Racing and previous Ducati Team rider Valentino Rossi.
Crutchlow, the 2011 MotoGP Rookie of the Year, also earned his first-ever MotoGP pole at Assen this season.
Much work lies ahead for Crutchlow. Ducati has clearly struggled in the past few years. Its last championship came in 2007 with the only rider that appeared capable of riding the Desmo – Casey Stoner. That was the Australian’s rookie year; he remained with Ducati through 2010, the year the now-retired Stoner gave Ducati its last three victories at Aragon, Motegi and Phillip Island, respectively.
Stoner joined Honda for 2011, and took his second MotoGP title. That year, Rossi joined Ducati in what was hyped to be the perfect Italian pairing. But following two years with the brand, Rossi earned only three podiums without a single win.
Following are the stats on Crutchlow:
Cal Crutchlow Stats:
- Race number: 35
- Age: 27 (born in Coventry, UK, on 29 October 1985)
- Height: 1.68 metres (5’6”)
- Weight: 66.68 kg (147 lbs.)
- GP starts: 43 (all in MotoGP class)
- First GP: Qatar GP, 2011 (MotoGP)
- GP podiums: 6 (all in MotoGP class)
- First GP Pole: Dutch TT, 2013 (MotoGP)
- World SBK starts: 30
- World SBK wins: 3
- World SBK podiums: 11
- World SBK poles: 6
- World Supersport starts: 17
- World Supersport titles: 1
- World Supersport wins: 5
- World Supersport podiums: 10
- World Supersport poles: 10
- 2011: MotoGP Rookie of the Year (Tech3 Yamaha)
- 2009: Supersport World Champion (Yamaha)
- 2006: British Supersport Champion
- 2001: Aprilia RS 125 Challenge Champion