“The least is done, now we are working on the rest”, Lucio Cecchinello smiles after completing the first goal of the work for 2018. Before Assen he renewed the contract with Crutchlow, but it is no secret that the Italian manager is laying the foundation for a second bike.
“With Cal we had begun to talk about renewing last year in Valencia - he reveals - The goal was to sign before the summer and we did that. On his part, Crutchlow wanted a direct contract with HRC in order to have more technical assurances and the certainty of being involved in the MotoGP project. It was a 3-way agreement.”
Now the second rider must be chosen…
“I am working earnestly to find the financial resources. I must admit that, thanks to Dorna’s contribution, the budget is lower than in the past. I have some advanced negotiations underway with some sponsors, but nothing has been signed yet.”
There is a lot of talk about Nakagami.
“It is no secret that there is an agreement between HRC and Nakagami where, if they achieve certain goals this season they will be able to move up to MotoGP. However, in Japan they are still assessing the situation. It is early for them.”
What would your dream team be?
“An expert rider who can set his sights on the podium and a promising young talent.”
The expert is Cal. Who is the other?
“Morbidelli is an excellent rider, but maybe we are moving too fast. As I said, I still do not have the financial certainties, so I have not spoken with him or his manager. I am also well-aware that team Marc VDS would like him in MotoGP”.
Looking at Moto2, who else do you see?
“Tom Luthi, I know that he would also like to move up to MotoGP”.
Would it be possible to rekindle the flame with Miller?
“I would like it if he were part of our project. We worked very well together and he has a good personal relationship with Cal. However, I am not the only one who decides on the rider. I work directly with HRC”.
How long do you think it will be before all the details are finalized?
“Realistically, I would like to have everything clarified by the end of August. Luckily, I still have all the structures and transportation vehicles used in 2015, so that’s one less problem.”