Mugello Meeting Helped 'Clear The Air' Between Crutchlow And Yamaha

The troubled waters through which Cal Crutchlow has found himself sailing with Yamaha have been calmed a little. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider and his manager Bob Moore held their first face-to-face meeting with Yamaha bosses Lin Jarvis and Masahiko Nakajima on the Sunday night after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, to discuss the options for extending their relationship for next year.

Also present at the meeting was Monster Tech 3 Yamaha boss Hervé Poncharal, who has been very vocal in his desire to retain the British rider. Crutchlow's results have been a real boon for the French team, and  his outspoken and impish personality have helped attract a large amount of media attention. Poncharal has been mediating between Yamaha and Crutchlow, and is trying to secure an extension of Crutchlow's contract with the team for 2014. 

Poncharal judged the meeting a positive step forward, with all parties involved getting a chance to express their views in person. "It was good to clear the air," Poncharal said of the meeting, something which was necessary after Crutchlow's indignant and very public response to rumors that Yamaha were intending to put Pol Espargaro on Crutchlow's seat in the Tech 3 garage. Rumors of an imminent departure for the new factory Suzuki team continue to surround Crutchlow, despite Crutchlow's continuing protestations that his first objective is to remain with Yamaha.

The meeting had been an opportunity for both sides to express their commitment to each other. "Cal understands more and more the world he is in," Poncharal said, "And he knows he needs to be a bit more careful. But Yamaha also understand Cal's potential." It had been an opportunity for Crutchlow to make it very clear to Yamaha that what he wants most is to remain with Yamaha. He had spoken with some passion about his commitment, and that had convinced Yamaha bosses of his sincerity. "Nakajima was quite touched by what Cal said about Yamaha," Poncharal said.

Though both Yamaha and Crutchlow set out their positions during the meeting, no conclusions had been drawn. Both Yamaha and Crutchlow need to study their options, and what they could offer each other before any contracts could be signed. The situation was should be close to being settled by the end of June. "Things will be much clearer by Assen," Poncharal said.

Crutchlow is still keen to have a factory contract, but his situation is complicated by the fact that the only rides in factory teams available next year are with Ducati and the new Suzuki team. Both moves would be a gamble, Ducati showing clear signs of improvement, but still behind the Honda and the Yamaha, while Suzuki is an unknown quantity at the moment. Remaining in Yamaha would probably be Crutchlow's best option, especially if he can persuade the factory to give him more direct support. That would require a change in Yamaha policy, which is not something they have been prepared to do so far. The prospect of losing Crutchlow - at fourth in the championship, and with two podiums, Crutchlow is the second best Yamaha rider at the moment,  24 points ahead of second Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi - may be sufficient to persuade Yamaha to do just that.

The issue of Crutchlow could become moot if Valentino Rossi decides to retire early, of course. Rossi came back to Yamaha with the stated objective of fighting for wins and podiums, but so far, he has failed to make the impact he had hoped for. That is in part due to the time he has needed to adapt to a changed Yamaha M1, but also due to misfortune, of his own and others' making. Rossi has had two crashes so far this season, falling at Le Mans after making a mistake in the wet, and then being involved in a clash with Alvaro Bautista at Mugello. If Rossi cannot manage to start scoring regular podiums, there is a possibility that he could decide to retire from MotoGP before the end of his two-year contract. If he did call it a day at the end of this year, that would open up a seat in the factory Yamaha team. Given his current run of form, Crutchlow would be the perfect candidate to take that seat. That would solve the problem for Yamaha and Crutchlow, but it would leave Hervé Poncharal with empty hands.

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Perhaps Yamaha should offer him a 'factory' bike but stipulate he must run on Showa suspension with Nissin brakes?

Wonder if Ducati would give Yamaha the name of the psychologist that they referred Marco Milandri too?.

I can't understand why is Yamaha so unwiling to give more support to riders such as Cal. Crutchlow definitly deserved what he is asking for and it would be such a pitty for Yamaha to lose him to some other team/manufacturer.

Completely relying on Lorenzo is not a smart long-term decision.

This is really leading towards Smith loosing his ride if Rossi doesn't get bumped out of the way

.... do retain CC#35. He results prove he has earned his place.

I dont see the fuss about Pol when his Brother Aleix on the CRT is a far better bet.

I know this is a long shot but i think the maybe ideal solution if Cal consistently finished ahead of Rossi would be if somehow in Rossi's contract it was doable or if he agreed to ride a factory bike in the Tech 3 team (big personal Monster sponsored rider on Monster Tech 3 team) and Cal take the factory team bike next to Jorge.

Perhaps the biggest condemnation of the CRT experiment is what it has done to Aleix's future.

So instead of highlighting new talent comparing young riders to established stars, in the same race, teams figure success(?) in Moto2 is a better indicator of future potential. Have they forgotten Toni already?

I don't get it.

Dorna wants the Moto2 champion to ride in MotoGP. I think the main reason is that it makes for a good story if a rider rises through the ranks, and it adds value to the lighter classes.

Nakajima had been touched by Crutchlow's words.. Cool stuff! B-) I really start like this Cal dude.

Except that the very last line is confusing. Herve would not have "empty hands" at all in that he would have Bradley and Pol. No?

I get your point and largely agree but with Aleix I sense the waters are muddied due to the fact that he has been in MotoGP and didn't perform well.

That said, he was younger, less experienced and on the Ducati.


Unfortunately as mentioned, Aleix was not only on a completely unsorted Ducati at the time, he was also on a satellite bike at the time when Pramac was far from having the same factory support it does now.

He is definitely deserving of a move to a satellite team. IMO I think he should be aiming at the MSMA Aprilia team if that happens or the factory Suzuki team. After last season, and the beginning of this season, I think he trumps RDP for that Suzuki seat.

Aleix Espargaro has shown the world he's good enough for the big circus, he regularly beats satelite bikes and even his own teammate Randy De Puniet, whom is no slouch either, on a toy bike with regular valves. I really would take his regular top 10 finishes as an indication of talent.

Yep, Rossi needs time to adapt to the Yamaha. Much like Stoner had to adapt in 2007 to the Ducati and then later to the Honda.

These things take time to adapt to. Oh, wait a minute. Stoner won when he came to Ducati and Honda. My mistake in comparing the two.

So..what happened there then?

Usually, riders improve their results the more experience they have on a new bike/team.

Stoners went backwards..twice.

Not bashing the lad. He did win 2 titles on 2 different marques and won a whole shit-pile of races.

Some of his fans need to get over the fact he's retired, however.
The constant whining about Rossi is tiresome and could make a person think that, like Casey, Valentino appears to have got under your skin.

It seems increasingly as if Valentino Rossi is past his prime. As a fan of his, I feel extremely sorry and would not want to bash him when he is down and probably on his way out. A cricketer of many years back, from India, Vijay Manjrekar said that sportsmen should retire when people ask why as opposed to saying why not. I think two legends Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi are destined to be retiring in ignominy and destroying their status as legends. They look very, very ordinary now despite all the great record breaking feats that they have accomplished. Looks like in motor racing like in some other fields, you are only known by your last work, in this case, your last ride. A pity. I like Cal Crutchlow's attitude. Very much old school and like a gunslinger. Would love to see him continue on a competitive bike.

Sorry, this is absolute nonsens. Maybe you should wake up and begin to understand the universe and his fundemental rules (resonance + polarity) you live in. Everything bases on natural laws meaning: (co)sinus waves = increasing, peak, decreasing. Your indian Guru and his spiritual dogmas are nonsense as there is no such thing a perfection, the right or false moment. You do things and live with the results (causality). Nobody would consider Rossi as a legend who destroyed his status. Absolute nonsens for unconsious people/minds ...

As I´m not a fan of his it does not bother me much. But I (watching 500cc/MotoGP/F1 since the end of 80s) always will consider him as one of the best of all time (not the greatest because he simply had no serious competition in his first MotoGP years ... Biaggi - the super sensitive moaner - + Sete? Hahaha ...).

Nevertheless: I miss Casey, as in my point of view nobody in the past 20-30 years had such incredible (instinctive/intutive) talent controlling ~ 200-250 hp on two wheels ...

"VivaVivaLaFiga"/WLF was only fast on fast/great bikes ...

While quitting while on top like Biaggi did is problably the wisest choice, I disagree when it comes to Schumacher and Rossi.
I never cared for F1, but Schumacher earned a lot of my respect when he put his status as a legend on the line to make his comeback. He wasn't able to pull it off, and didn't even beat his teammate consistently, so mission not accomplished. But that still doesn't make him look ordinary in my eyes.
As for Rossi, well, it ain't over till it's over.

you have hit the peak until you can see that you are past it.
Probably wrong to leave early, just in case. Biaggi was 'lucky' - right person, right team, right time.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing - a shame no-one told Sykes to watch the kerbs as he went out for race 2....
History tells us things but we shouldn't use it as the primary basis for decisions today.
Yamaha will, hopefully find the gear and staff to support Crutchlow. He has literally replaced Edwards in the MGP front line and has the potential to be a major contender, possibly a champion. He has a WSS title and they don't come easy either. If the planets/Jarvis align (and Monster support him), who knows?

I've heard rumours that Honda is a bit disappointed with Stefan Bradl's performance this year. Not a factory team, of course, but Honda does supply them with full factory bikes, don't they? If there's a possibility of Bradl losing his ride at the end of this year then perhaps the thought of Crutchlow on a Honda is what helped "clear the air" for Yamaha.

I'd be more worried about Bautista's ride than Bradl's. Bautista looks very ordinary on a good bike, when he's not scuppering Yamahas.

"Cal understands more and more the world he is in," Poncharal said, "And he knows he needs to be a bit more careful."

Cal has earned my respect as a rider. But he does underestimate how good a position he is in on the team he is on. Constantly blaring on about how the equipment is not as good or far from the Factory Yamaha is pissing people off. Poncharal's team is better than he would get at Ducati's Factory team. Hell, there are CRTs mixing it up with the Ducatis. Factory does not automatically mean better.

Speaking your mind is good, but shitting on your team owner's words about the equipment is not all that bright. Crutchlow's skill is high, but not irreplaceable. There are others just as good, if not better to replace him with. Glad he got to speak with Yamaha directly instead of putting his boot in his mouth again.

He wants a decent wage for his work. He is nowhere near earning what he deserves. A factoty contract will set him up for life after racing. Currently he will have to keep racing as long as he can and also find a career after.
He is probably earning quite well, but not life changing. I remember Crivile getting half a milion while he was on 125's still.

Cal knows big money is out there, and rightly deserves a slice. And his on track results are proving his worth. He has made a jump in ability/consistency this year, so has probably surprised a few people, and that is why he was overlooked for future Alien, full on factory stature potential.
Good thread chaps.