This year’s silly season may have been a bit disappointing, at least when you consider that many of the top riders had contracts up for renewal this year.
Instead, we saw Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, and Dani Pedrosa all stay-put with their current manufacturers, and likely we will add Jorge Lorenzo to that list during the Indianapolis GP, as the Spaniard is said to be close to a one-year contract with Yamaha Racing.
One of the bigger question marks though has been Cal Crutchlow, as the Briton has made no secret about his displeasure with the Desmosedici GP14. Finding the paddock gossip about the Ducati to be true, Crutchlow currently faces a steep learning curve to bring his performance on the GP14 in-line with Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, both of whom already have a season on the Desmosedici under their belts.
With an option to leave Ducati Corse midway through his two-year contract, rumors about Crutchlow’s departure have been escalating, despite Ducati’s announcement at World Ducati Week 2014 that Crutchlow would remain with the team. Now, the Italian press tipping him to leave for a seat at LCR Honda.
Expected to take Stefan Bradl’s seat, who in turn would be headed to NGM Forward, Crutchlow would have factory-supported machinery, inside Lucio Cecchinello’s satellite Honda team.
By vacating the Ducati Corse team, Crutchlow’s absence would allow Andrea Iannone to move up into the factory squad, and thus make room for the Pramac Ducati team to bring in fresh meat for the Desmosedici. Time will tell who that new rider could be, and before that we must see if these rumors prove to be true.
With this much smoke there, surely there is some fire, and given how competitive the Honda RC213V has been this season, we can easily see Crutchlow looking at the neighbors’s lawn with envied saturation.