By Stephen English

Cal Crutchlow's move to Ducati has been the major talking point over the MotoGP summer break.

At Indianapolis Ducati's present line-up of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden weighed in with their thoughts on the Englishman's decision to move to the Italian manufacturer.

Related Articles

Dovizioso and Crutchlow were team-mates at Tech 3 Yamaha last year and the Italian is pleased to have the opportunity to work alongside the former World Supersport champion once again.

Dovizioso was however also keen to offer praise to Hayden, whose five-year factory Ducati career will end at Valencia.

"Nicky was nice as a team-mate and we've made a good battle until now, he's a good guy," said the former 125cc world champion. "But I'm happy for Cal, I've a good relationship with him. He made a small step again this year with his speed and he'll be stronger next year than when we were team-mates before. I'm happy about his decision. I spoke with him and he's determined for next year so if he believes that it's the right decision."

The biggest advantage as far as Dovizioso is concerned is that once again Ducati will have input from another rider, as they continue to search for solutions to the handling problems that have plagued the team in recent years:

"It's also good to have feedback from another rider. I think that we can make a much better bike but unfortunately until now we couldn't but we're working to improve the situation for next year. We're really focused to improve the situation and I think long term we can improve."

For Hayden the decision to sign Crutchlow will bring an end to an eleven-year stint as a factory MotoGP team rider, which began during his rookie year at Repsol Honda in 2003. The 2006 world champion knows that if Crutchlow is to succeed at Ducati it will revolve around the team's ability to develop the bike:

"Depends on how the bike improves, if they find the direction and improve the bike it could work out well," said Hayden. "If the bike doesn't improve I'd say it'll be really tough. It's pretty simple; we can see that you need a good bike, look at [the performances of] Valentino and Dovi one year to the next."