2 Aug 2013

Cal Crutchlow to Ducati, Scott Redding to join MotoGP ranks

Cal Crutchlow has signed a two year deal to race for Ducati in MotoGP, starting in 2014.  

Crutchlow, who has raced in MotoGP for three years on a satellite Tech3 Yamaha has repeatedly been on the podium and beaten factory teams.  He has been the highest finishing non-factory rider for every race but two this year and is fifth in the championship - only 1 point behind Valentino Rossi.

MotoGP bosses, Dorna, were desperate to keep Cal in the sport but there weren't any factory rides available at Yamaha or Honda.  His only option was a continuation of the Tech3 deal, which would have seen him to ride on inferior machinery to Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, or the factory Ducati deal.  Yamaha offered Cal a factory contract with an increased salary, but not a factory bike - nor an assurance he would move on to one in 2015.

The trouble is Ducati has been a team on the wane ever since Casey Stoner left - and arguably whilst he was still with them.  Valentino Rossi walked away after two fruitless years and it has effectively seen the death of Nicky Hayden's MotoGP career.  Crutchlow replaces Hayden who has yet to confirm whether he is staying on.

Audi bought Ducati in 2012 but the team has yet to see any upturn in form, although its current riders Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden aren't exactly in form.

Cal's replacement at Tech3 is Pol Espargo.

@calcrutchlow is a prolific tweeter, and recently sent out this series of tweets following speculation about where he was headed in 2014.

And another Brit could be joining the MotoGP grid with current Moto2 championship leader Scott Redding in line for a Honda Gresini ride in 2014.  Scott was the first Brit to win back to back MotoGP races (in Moto2) since Barry Sheene.

MotoGP 2014 just got brilliant.