Cal Crutchlow has called upon British MotoGP fans and media to give him time to settle into life in the premier class and in return, he will deliver the results they are craving – vowing to be the best rider the country has had in the championship 'in a long time'.
Following a sole campaign in World Superbikes with Yamaha that yielded a trio of victories, seven further rostrum finishes, an outstanding run of six pole positions from just 13 Superpole sessions and fifth spot in the final standings, Crutchlow will graduate to MotoGP with the satellite Tech 3 operation next year.
He has already made a solid start during testing in Valencia – “I was happy with the performance, and so were the team and so were Yamaha,” he affirms – but he is being constantly reminded of the fact that the last British rider to attempt to make his mark at the highest level, his 2010 team-mate and double WSBK Champion James Toseland, exited again after a mere two seasons, tail between his legs.
With the Yorkshireman having found himself savaged by the national media and public for failing to live up to expectations, Crutchlow is well aware that whilst he will have a period of grace, once that period is over, the pressure will be on him to produce results. He assures that he will.
“James came back to World Superbikes this year and in all honesty, he struggled, but I can sympathise why,” the 25-year-old told Crash.net Radio
. “The bikes are so different; he's been used to loading the tyres and loading the brakes to go round the corners in MotoGP for two years, and then he came back to World Superbikes and had quite a few crashes and things weren't working out for him, but that's why.
“It's the same for me going the other way round, but give me time to learn, give me time to settle in and I'll get the results, don't worry about that. That's the way I'm looking at it. Yeah, people criticise – the public are always the first to jump on [the bandwagon] and congratulate you when you're winning, but when you don't do very well they're also the first to jump on your back saying you're useless – but they're not the ones riding the bike. They've got to understand it's difficult at times.
“I think Jorge Lorenzo
has been the only guy this year – perhaps Max Biaggi as well – who has had a phenomenal season; everyone else really has had ups-and-downs. It's not easy to do what we do and we're doing the best job we can.
“Hopefully, people will get behind that, and I intend to be the best Brit that has been to MotoGP in a long time, or else I wouldn't be going into it. Why would I be entering the championship if I didn't want to be that? I'll just get up-to-speed and see how we get on. I'm looking forward to it, I really am, and hopefully the British public and fans will get behind me.”
One factor that will arguably play in Crutchlow's favour – albeit not just yet awhile – is the return to 1,000cc in 2012, what will not only represent effectively a clean sheet of paper for the entire grid, but should also play to the Coventry-born star's strengths rather better than the current 800cc bikes.