Crutchlow braced for "horseshit" theories amid Pedrosa exit

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Cal Crutchlow says he expects “horseshit” claims that Honda will back him over its MotoGP factory rider Dani Pedrosa, now that the Spaniard is officially on his way out.

Pedrosa will be replaced by three-time champion Jorge Lorenzo in 2019, and his next move is currently unknown – although he has been linked with a switch to the rumoured Petronas-backed satellite Yamaha project.

Crutchlow, who rides for satellite team LCR is contracted directly to Honda through to the end of 2019, is sixth to Pedrosa's 11th in the standings – and beat him to fourth place last time out in Barcelona.

"For all the people thinking that now Dani is out, that I got a better bike today, is horseshit," he said after the race. "Because they will think [it]. This is what happens.

"They'll say 'ah, now, Dani gets a slow bike, Cal gets all the parts'. This is not true.

"I have the same bike I had on Friday, I have the same bike I had three races ago. We just did a better job."

The comment followed Crutchlow's confirmation that he would have new parts to test in the post-race Monday test.

"It [Pedrosa's exit] changes nothing," he stressed. "I had the plan of what I was going to test tomorrow three months ago.

"We have some small part, is nothing big, is something to make you feel hopefully a little bit more comfortable in the bike, and that's it."

Crutchlow's fourth place in the Catalan Grand Prix was his best finish since his win in Argentina in early April, but he said the result was "bittersweet" as he'd been aiming for a podium heading into Barcelona.

He'd fought through from 10th on the grid, and believed he would've had a shot at third-placed Valentino Rossi if he managed to clear Pedrosa more swiftly.

"I made a mistake passing Dani. I should've passed him four laps before, like I could have. But I didn't think Valentino was reachable.

"But now you look back, you say, pass him three laps before, I catch Valentino."

Asked what Crutchlow's advantage was in their Catalan GP battle, Pedrosa said: "Most of the race I was in front so I couldn't see but I could hear his engine many times, and he was getting next to me in the straight.

"So what I can say that I was not as fast in the turns, and not as fast in the exit of the turn, so I was kind of blocking him a little bit in that spot, but I was much stronger in the brakes.

"I could see that the way of using the rear grip is different, and I wasn't going so fast out of the corner.

"I think this is something we have to work for because that I believe is one of the reasons why I struggle in the qualifying with the new tyre.

"So if we can manage to change a little bit the way of going into the corner, this can help to use better the grip on the mid and exit."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont and German Garcia Casanova

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Catalan GP
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Cal Crutchlow , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Team LCR , Repsol Honda Team
Article type Breaking news