Ducati Corse MotoGP team manager, Vittoriano Guareschi, has admitted that Ducati is interested in having Cal Crutchlow join the red team for 2013.
Crutchlow has been performing strongly to date during his second season on the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite machine. Cal is 4th in the MotoGP championship points table this year and, although he hasn’t stood on the podium like his team mate, he has posted a host of strong and consistent results. The Briton finished 6th at his home MotoGP last time out at Silverstone despite a practice crash that saw him miss qualifying, bang his ankle and start from the back of the grid.
“We are speaking to Cal,” Guareschi said. “He is a fast rider and aggressive, and I think with our bike it is possible for him to get some good results. Now he is a Yamaha rider and Yamaha will be looking very closely at him, and it is not easy for us to take him or easy for Yamaha to lose a good rider like him.”
Separately Cal has spoken with Yamaha and indicated his preferred scenario would be to stay with Tech 3 but receive factory equipment but Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis poured cold water on this possibility.
“I spoke with Cal recently and asked him if he would like to go to the factory team. He said at the moment what he would love to do is stay with Tech 3 because he is really happy but ideally have a factory spec bike. I don’t think that is going to happen.”
Fans might liken Cal’s aggression to that of Casey Stoner but there is little evidence to suggest that Cal would triumph on the Ducati where many others including Valentino Rossi have faltered.
In our view it is unlikely that Cal is seriously entertaining a factory Ducati ride. He is far more likely to be using discussions with Ducati to increase pressure on Yamaha to retain him and promote him to the factory team for 2013 in place of Ben Spies.