Cal Crutchlow is one of the paddock's most beloved riders, because of his humor and the fact that never minces words. The rider from the LCR team talked about himself in an interview with Marieta Evans (see the video HERE), and about his life inside and outside the paddock.
His unfiltered comments have often made him an easy target for anyone who wants to criticize him, but he doesn't care.
"At the beginning, I cared about what people said and thought about me. Then I learned not to, " he said. "I work hard to be a professional. Sometimes the races are good and sometimes they aren't. I'm not worried. Miller and I always tell the truth, and this makes us easy targets. We're not politically correct. That doesn't mean that I don't respect the rules, but I don't lie.”
Cal is spending this time off in California with his wife Lucy and daughter Willow, but he normally lives on the Isle of Man, home to the Tourist Trophy. Is there any chance we'll get to see him in the most famous road race in the world?
"Never say never... ever," he replied with a laugh. "I love the Isle of Man, but the TT is a special event, completely different from what we do. I like to see it, cheer iton, but if I were to race in the TT, then I 'd have to divorce."
So it's best if we focus on the MotoGP, starting from the results of the winter tests.
“They've been quite positive tests," Cal assured."Everyone finds problems, but finding them is positive because you can give information to improve. We did a good job in Valencia and then in Malaysia. Honda worked well on the engine and electronics. We have to improve the sensations. Only in Qatar did we understand that changes in aerodynamics had to be made."
With Marc who's not in perfect shape, Crutchlow's contribution to development has been crucial.
“It's always important because, thanks to my driving style, I can give neutral information. I also have the ability to understand the bike well and to clearly explain my sensations, what's best and what's worse," he explained. "Marquez goes incredibly fast with any bike, with any tire you give him. Nobody in the world is like Marc. There are more riders like me. If everyone were like him, everyone would win," he said, jokingly.
Honda is not a simple bike to interpret.
“In my first year, it was difficult to understand Honda, even if I had good results," Crutchlow recalled. "You have to really push with this bike. You have to ride it aggressively. I understood more in my second year. You have to adapt to the bike, each has its own DNA. We know that Honda is fantastic when entering corners. It allows you to correct the trajectory when braking, it also leaves a lot of room for the rider. You have the feeling of being able to control it, especially at the end of the race."
Lorenzo failed to understand that.
"If Jorge had continued, he would have adapted," Cal is sure of that. "But riders are impatient. I can understand the situation in which Lorenzo found himself. He's a winner, and he struggled to finish in the top 10. After the falls in Barcelona and Assen, you can't blame him if he didn't ride like before. Those was two big accidents. Jorge is a five-time champion. He knows how to ride a motorcycle."
Even Cal had abandoned a motorcycle after only a year. It was the Ducati. But, in that case, there were no technical problems.
"I could have been fast with that bike. I had never had any doubt, " he said. "If you look at Dovizioso, in his first year with Ducati, he had struggled but had the will to accept it. I didn't, and I should have. But the reason I left was not because I didn't think I could win, but because they had already signed a contract with another rider for the official team for the following year. Even if I had stayed, I wouldn't have had a place. They had decided for Dovizioso and Iannone."
Crutchlow, however, has no regrets.
“At the beginning, it was difficult to adapt to the Ducati. It was for me, like for Dovi, Lorenzo, Valentino, we all came from Yamaha. However, it was an experience that made me stronger as a rider," he said.