By Stephen English
A superb first half of the 2013 MotoGP season has seen Cal Crutchlow claim four podiums and a debut pole, clearing the way for a move to the factory Ducati team for 2014.
Despite his present satellite status, the Tech 3 Yamaha star is already seen as a bone fide contender and tipped by the likes of Jorge Lorenzo to win a race soon.
With his improvements over the last 18 months it is hard to believe that when Crutchlow came to MotoGP from World Superbike in 2011 that there were major question marks over how he would adapt to the premier class.
Speaking to Crash.net
earlier this year, Crutchlow admitted that even he had doubts about whether he had made the right decision during a difficult rookie campaign.
When asked if he thought he would be as successful in the premier-class as he has been, Crutchlow said:
"In all honesty in my first year... I didn't and I was ready to go back to World Superbike. I have always said that if someone had have offered me a WSBK ride there and then at one point in the year I would have gone back.
"I had quite a lot to learn and I wanted to learn it too fast. We went to ten new tracks and I expected to win at every one of them and it doesn't happen.
"I was battling with riders that I thought were rubbish and they're not rubbish, they're incredibly talented. I'm not saying that they're no good but just that they were riding around at the back.
“When I came here I had a shock as to how good they actually are."
Crutchlow went on to comment about how he has learned to get the most out of a MotoGP prototype.
"I think I've learned through experience rather than developing something," continued Crutchlow. "My speed was always there and I was always fast-sometimes over one lap, sometimes over ten laps but never over the whole race. Now I'm a lot stronger over the whole race."
Crutchlow will start the second half of the 2013 MotoGP season, at Indianapolis next weekend, holding fifth in the world championship, 32 points ahead of the next best satellite rider Stefan Bradl.