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MotoGP Australia: Crutchlow credits riding style change for Ducati upturn

Cal Crutchlow feels a change in his riding style on the Ducati is allowing him to get the most from the bike as he qualifies a season-best second.
Cal Crutchlow has credited an adapted riding style suitable to the Ducati for his recent upturn in form, the British rider qualifying on the front row in Phillip Island for the first time in 2014.

Coming a week after Andrea Dovizioso put the GP14 on pole position in Motegi, Crutchlow will start the Australian MotoGP in second position behind Marc Marquez after a strong performance in qualifying.

With just three races remaining until he leaves Ducati after just one season in favour of a move to LCR Honda, Crutchlow re-emphasised that he is still riding the GP14 he began the season with – not the updated GP14.2 of Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.

With this in mind, he says his encouraging pace is the result of him discovering a better way for him to personally get the most from the bike.

“I am a bit more confident and I was pushing a little bit more,” he said. “I haven't changed so much. A lot of braking zones are better than what they were and better than what I was last year, but I believe I have made a change to my riding style a bit.”

“We have started to work with the bike in a better way. If you change things and it makes no difference, you may as well ride what you have got and not change it so much. We have made a couple of changes that haven't worked, so we went back to what we started with and just rode, which is what we did at Aragon and Motegi.”

When asked whether his recent performances have made him second-guess his decision to leave Ducati at the end of the 2014 season, the Briton insists he has no regrets.

"I took the decision I felt was right for me at the time, and I am happy with my decision. I am more happy that my speed has come back.

Looking ahead to the race, Crutchlow was somewhat less optimistic about his chances, saying the Ducati will suffer particularly badly at Phillip Island with the rear tyre.

“It will be difficult to stay with them [the leaders],” he continued. “The tyre life of the Ducati is worse than the other manufacturers, so it is how long we can stay there for and battle with the other guys. We need to get away with them and stay with them as long as possible, then manage the situation. The tyres are going to be wrecked after ten laps for everybody, but for us it will be worse.”

Referring to last year's race, Crutchlow joked: "We are just discussing with Bridgestone for a mandatory pit stop - because we know Marc will miss it and then it'll put me one place up!"

Tagged as: Ducati , Cal Crutchlow

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October 18, 2014 9:32 AM

What was it that Cal said earlier in the season? That he was not prepared to change his riding style? Now almost at the last minute he does so and voila - Cal & Dovi's normal positions reversed.

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