Cal Crutchlow feels his crash at Austin early in 2014 was the main reason he failed to thrive in the Ducati MotoGP team, rather than any lack of affinity with the Desmosedici.
The Briton became the latest factory Ducati rider to leave the team earlier than expected when he agreed to terminate his contract a year early and move to LCR Honda.
Crutchlow believes the confidence blow of the Austin accident, which left him sidelined a hand injury was particularly badly timed as it came while he was still acclimatising to the Ducati.
"I don't think it was just the bike. I'd be the first to admit I wasn't riding it that well," he told AUTOSPORT.
"It was only after my crash at Austin - up until then I felt confident.
"I think it's probably one of the biggest crashes of my career.
"After that I wasn't willing to push and take risks as much as I had before until I got my confidence back.
"It took me a long time to get it back because I had no real feeling for or understanding of the bike."
Although Crutchlow trailed team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for much of the season, he returned to competitiveness in the final part of the year - taking a podium finish at Aragon and showing frontrunning form in all the subsequent races.
That came despite Ducati prioritising its 2015 riders Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone when it came to upgrades, including the revamped GP14.2 version of the bike.
"Obviously the other guys started to get upgrades through the year as well, which made the gap even bigger," said Crutchlow.
"But once I started to feel comfortable with the bike, I was willing to push again.
"Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of things go wrong on our side of the garage as well - a lot of mechanical failures, a lot of other things that weren't just on the track.
"I think it all mounted up. Once I found that form, I showed I was able to be competitive."
On AUTOSPORT next week - a full exclusive interview with Cal Crutchlow on what went wrong in 2014 and why the future will be better
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