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Crutchlow Surges and Redding Struggles After Switch to Factory Hondas

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Scott Redding (L) and Cal Crutchlow (R)

Both riders got their wish this season. That is, sophomore Scott Redding and veteran Cal Crutchlow have factory Honda RC213V MotoGP bikes beneath them for 2015. Crutchlow, like so many others, struggled while on a Ducati last year, and Redding felt his “Open class” Honda would never give him a sniff of the podium.

After four races on their factory bikes, results for the two riders diverge significantly. Redding has struggled, and continues to struggle. Ranking just 12th in points, he still lacks the feel, and confidence, necessary to ride anywhere other than mid-pack. Crutchlow, on the other hand, is ranked sixth in the points (the highest ranking “satellite” team rider), already has a podium finish, and his confidence is growing.

At the Jerez test just completed following the last MotoGP round, Cal Crutchlow was third quickest and the fastest Honda (that’s right, even faster than Marc Marquez, who only completed 31 laps to Crutchlow’s 64). Honda even allowed Crutchlow to test a new factory part, a revised swingarm, an opportunity normally afforded only to Repsol team riders.

Redding was 8th quickest at the Jerez test, and completed more laps than any other rider (105). Although his lap time improved from the race, his best lap came on the 104th of 105 laps. He is still nowhere near the front runners.

It will be interesting to watch how Crutchlow and Redding fare as the remainder of the races unfold.

14 Comments

  1. Aussie M says:

    Go the Brits! I am getting bored with Spanish and Italian riders dominating everything. A couple of years ago I started calling the series the “Spanish World Championship”. So I started hoping that the British riders would do well. No, I am not British.

  2. Charlie says:

    mm93 would wax them all. Honda DOES give all their riders the same bikes at the beginning of the year and only the factory riders getting the bulk of the upgrades throughout the season. Cal is getting all the chassis upgrades as well as Scott due to Dani being out so the bikes are pretty much on equal grounds chassis wise…Electronics is another story, but only slightly better.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Honda DOES give all their riders the same bikes at the beginning of the year”

      Honda has NEVER given all their riders the same bikes at the beginning of the year, this going all the way back to the days of the 2T NSR.

      • Charlie says:

        Actually unlike Ducati and Yamaha who both lease out their PREVIOUS year’s “factory” bikes (2014) to their sat. teams (Pramac & Tech 3) and are done for the year, Honda actually starts off the year with both factory and sat. teams with THIS year’s machines (2015) and only the factory team tests out different chassis for which both factory riders choose and discard during testing prior to the first race of the season. The sat. Honda teams slowly throughout the year will get “upgrades” trickled down from the “factory” team. EX: Cal and Scott’s new seat/tail section. The other “factory” manufacturers don’t really upgrade their sat. teams at all for the rest of the season. EX: Tech 3 just now receiving the seamless gearbox that where on the factory Yamahas for like the last two seasons.

  3. Vrooom says:

    Crutchlow has to be a bit chapped that Ducati all of a sudden became competitive as soon as he left. That probably leaves him desperate to perform well.

    • Ty says:

      I suspect Nicky is( rightfully so) gutted.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Crutchlow has to be a bit chapped that Ducati all of a sudden became competitive as soon as he left.”

      nothing to be chapped about. how many came (nevermind Ross) and left BEFORE calvin with f@#kall occurring at Ducati Corse afterwards…? his odds of success were no better than 50/50 regardless of what direction he went. it is what it is and was what it was.

  4. Bill says:

    Yes, but the Ducatis seem to be doing, not too bad this season. The motorcycle fairy must have sprinkled her dust on them.

    If lets say honda, issued every rider the same bright orange bike, normalizing the machine variable, who do you think would triumph?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “If lets say honda, issued every rider the same bright orange bike”

      lets say it and then immediately forget it.

      if any feel like you need to make further penance…? i’ve got some bars of ivory, we can wash our mouths out for having blasphemed and cursed.

      Q: normalizing the machine variable, who do you think would triumph?

      A: ROSS.

      the Law of NATCORK dictates the one with the most experience rises to the fore if and when you “zero out” the $5 million dollar machines and the 30 man boffin armies (ie. $5 million dollar payroll) we like pretending isn’t there.

  5. TexinOhio says:

    How tall and heavy is Redding? Because he’s starting to look like a circus bear on a pit bike with that Honda.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Roughly 6’1″ and 175lbs. He is huge for a MotoGP rider, although Loris Baz is even bigger.

  6. Gutterslob says:

    At least he’s putting the laps in, unlike some highly paid factory rider… cough… Melandri…. cough.

  7. xLaYN says:

    remember the natcork “law”, forget it 🙂

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “remember the natcork “law”, forget it”

      remember the Law of NATCORK…?

      burn it into your brains.