Another sign of the Audi-Ducati relationship has popped up at the motorcycle manufacturer’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy. Pictured here is an Audi A1 sports hatchback dressed in paint inspired by the Ducati 1199 Panigale S Tricolore. The special color scheme includes the Ducati logo on the hood, Italian red, white and green striping and red […]
Cal Crutchlow To Join Ducati MotoGP
Reports are coming in from Europe stating in 2014 Cal Crutchlow will be once again teaming up with Andrea Dovizioso, this time on the unruly and uncompetitive Ducati Desmosedici. This despite his current Yamaha Tech 3 team receiving financial assistance from the factory to give Crutchlow a significant pay increase, something Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said was “unusual.” The deal is set to be officially announced Friday.
While the Yamaha offer was alluring, the former World Supersport champion has been putting in strong performances this season — securing a pole position and occasionally beating factory riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo — which has prompted him to demand a factory Yamaha M1 by 2015.
With Rossi and Lorenzo inked to two-year deals, Yamaha couldn’t promise Crutchlow it could fulfill his wishes. With the news that Nicky Hayden‘s factory Ducati contract won’t be renewed after it expires this year, the path was cleared for Crutchlow to receive the factory machine he’s so desperately wanted and deserved.
It’s no secret the Desmosedici has struggled mightily lately, even prompting nine-time World Champ Rossi to reunite with Yamaha after two dreadful, and winless, years aboard the Ducati. Despite this, the straight-talking Brit isn’t deterred, publicly stating he believes the Bologna-based team has the ability and talent to regain its former glory.
Of course, the news of Crutchlow’s move opens the door for Moto2 standout Pol Espargaro, who signed a MotoGP contract with Yamaha long ago, to easily slot into the vacant Tech 3 seat. If Crutchlow had decided to stay, then current teammate Bradley Smith would likely be job searching.