Part two of an exclusive interview with MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow.
After talking about his move to the Factory Ducati team
, the Englishman answered questions on his time at Tech 3 Yamaha, the performances of Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, the future of MotoGP and more...
Looking back on your time at Tech 3, two great seasons after a tough learning year, was there anything more you could have got from the bike. Are there any regrets?
It's very easy to look back now and say 'I think I could have won a race or got more podiums'. I don't spend time thinking 'coulda, woulda, shoulda'. But being honest I do wish I had stayed on the package I had at the start of this year and Yamaha would have let me carry on with that for the rest of the year.
I lost my way a little bit and also the team as well. We were using too many different combinations of bike. We had a brand new tank and seat unit that I was screaming for at the start of the year. Then when we used it we worked out I didn't like it. But we weren't using it with the same chassis as the factory team, so we didn't know if the tank and seat was working as it was for them. I was also using a different link to the other guys.
Overall it was not the combination I liked. I would have preferred to have been slower at the start of the race, as I was at the start of the year, and been faster and more competitive at the end of the race. Instead I gained a few seconds at the start and was not as strong at the end.
But I had a very good package over my three years at Tech 3. Looking back I definitely wish I could have had more podiums and won a race. But that's easy to say! Most of the riders in MotoGP haven't done that. Most of the guys that have ever raced in MotoGP haven't done that. There's time for me yet.
Now my focus is doing that with someone else, but I had a fantastic three years at Tech 3. Well, two years - the first year was a disaster! But as Herve said we needed that year to sort me out. I had to refocus, learn that a lot of the mistakes were from myself and not blame the team because I was trying to ride the bike like a Superbike. I hold my hands up to that.
I've learnt to ride a grand prix bike a lot more now. But I still think preparation for MotoGP is a lot, lot easier through the smaller grand prix classes than racing Superbike and changing.
Was there a point where you felt you changed from being a Superbike rider to a MotoGP rider?
In the 2012 Sepang test, at the start of the year. I'd had time to reflect over the winter about what I needed to do. I came back stronger. I listened to my crew. I listened to Daniele [Romagnoli, crew chief] and Nico [Goyon, data engineer]. They said 'you need to this, need to do that'. I came back at Sepang and started to do it.