The Brno and Phillip Island MotoGP winner has clear goals and knows the level of technical support he needs to achieve them, but admitted to the press after Sunday’s race that he feels it’s unlikely he’ll get the level of backing from Honda he needs.
A factory motorcycle isn’t going to happen, explained the satellite LCR Honda rider. I’m happy with my team, but maybe I deserve more support from my factory. When I rode for Yamaha, I had good support. At Honda we get good support, but I think they should help me, and LCR as a team, more.
It’s disappointing to win a race and not see the boss at the press conference. I know there are people there internally who really help me, and that there are also people internally who don’t like them doing it. It’s a sport and a business, but unfortunately a lot of them see it as just a business.
Crutchlow’s forthright views were echoed by LCR Honda team boss Lucio Cecchinello, who agreed that, while they do receive HRC technical support, a lot more that could be sent their way.
Cecchinello said: ‘We do have support from Honda, from the technical department. But we would like to be more involved in the development of the motorcycle, and I think Cal deserves a contract direct with HRC’.
On the other hand, Honda have a lot of projects going on, and at the moment they don’t have plans to create a satellite team more closely linked to the factory team. But the Japanese look at the numbers, and with the numbers we’re doing at the minute I’m confident something will change in our favor sooner rather than later.’
Former racer Cecchinello knows what winning does for team moral and is under no illusion as to how much of a positive effect Crutchlow’s two wins have had on his satellite Honda squad.
I think that there are many small things that contribute to our success,’ said Cecchinello. ‘Everybody in the team has worked harder since Brno, but we’re also more motivated to ask the Honda engineers to come into our garage and give us more data, more information, and that is happening now.’
But while Crutchlow and his team are rightly pushing for more support, the British rider doesn’t know what difference that support will make. But as a man clearly on a roll, having outscored everyone bar Marc Marquez in the second half of the season, he’s keen to find out!
‘With things the way we are and with what we get from Honda, I don’t know if I can be a title contender.’ said Crutchlow. ‘It would be a big ask to fight for the title next year, but that doesn’t stop me trying!’
But while both Crutchlow and Cecchinello are calling for more support for the squad, Honda boss Livio Suppo says there’s not much more support available to give to the outfit.