Cal Crutchlow: 2015 MotoGP Honda hardest bike I've ridden

Cal Crutchlow says Honda's 2015 MotoGP challenger was "probably the most-difficult bike I've ridden" in the class

Cal Crutchlow: 2015 MotoGP Honda hardest bike I've ridden

After finishing fifth in the 2013 standings on a Tech 3 Yamaha, the Brit moved to Ducati in '14, then LCR Honda last year.

While his factory Ducati experience only lasted one season and he finished five places higher as a satellite rider with LCR, in eighth in the standings, Crutchlow says Honda's 2015 RC213V was not an easy fit.

"It was probably the most-difficult bike I've ridden in MotoGP," he told Autosport.

"It's a completely different animal to what people think. Some think you jump on a Honda and ride like Marc [Marquez] and Dani [Pedrosa].

"But Marc is a freak of nature and he can ride the Honda because it's the only thing he's ever ridden, and Dani has ridden the thing for 10 years.

"But I think they know which way to go in the end, it's just time.

"They have won many championships, the riders they have had have been special, so I think it has masked a lot of problems.

"But I'm really looking forward to 2016, they have some fantastic engineers and they are very, very clever, so I think we have to put our trust, as riders, in them and look forward to what's to come."

The factory riders ultimately reverted to the 2014 frame with the '15 engine and enjoyed improved fortunes, while Marquez has since acknowledged that the new ECU could hurt Honda's recovery.

Even with the problems, Crutchlow says 2015 provided a "good base" for his second year on a Honda.

Crutchlow finished last week's test at Sepang with the fourth-fastest time on the third day.

"Obviously early on in the year, we were on similar machinery," he said of the factory riders.

"After it started to change, it started to change quite a lot.

"They can obviously move to whatever they wanted, so the gap got quite big, which normally happens, so it was hard to come out of that phase we were in.

"We needed rear grip and the engine performance was so strong that it was giving us even less rear grip than the year before.

"It was a different year, it was a difficult learning year for me on the Honda bike, and one that's going to be a good base going into 2016 with."

The MotoGP season gets under way on March 20 in Qatar. You can watch all the race action throughout the season exclusively live on BT Sport, the home of MotoGP in the UK. Click here for more information on BT Sport

shares
comments
Scott Redding doubted his MotoGP future during tough early seasons
Previous article

Scott Redding doubted his MotoGP future during tough early seasons

Next article

Marc VDS MotoGP rider Jack Miller cleared to return after injury

Marc VDS MotoGP rider Jack Miller cleared to return after injury
Load comments
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021