Meregalli pleased to secure Crutchlow

Massimo Meregalli is confident Yamaha can defend its World Superbike title with the combination of James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow
Yamaha Sterilgarda team manager Massimo Meregalli is refusing to mourn the defection of Ben Spies to MotoGP by stating that he thinks his new rider line-up of James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow is 'stronger overall'.

Despite winning its first-ever World Superbike title with Spies this season, Yamaha will return next year armed with two new riders, Toseland having made the step back from MotoGP, while Crutchlow graduates from the World Supersport category.

Replacing Spies and Kawasaki-bound Tom Sykes, Meregalli is excited about the line-up, with the Toseland targeting a third world title with a third different manufacturer, while the Crutchlow is tipped as a future champion.

Indeed, Meregalli was particularly pleased to have secured Crutchlow, who had previously hinted at a possible switch to Moto2 in 2010.

"Overall I think we're stronger, because both riders are capable of fighting for the title. Toseland has returned to Superbike, determined to prove that opinions about him are mistaken,” Meregalli told the official WSBK website. “He wants to win his third title and I'm sure he will be one of the key protagonists.

“As for Crutchlow, we wanted him badly because we believe he is a true talent. What strikes me the most when I speak to him is that he transmits incredible self-assurance. It'll be his first season in Superbike but I reckon he will be fighting up front with the top guys right from the start.”

Referring to Sykes, who failed to score a single podium in 2009, Meregalli admits a few crashes and Spies' success conspired to undermine his confidence.

"Our bike this year was very well balanced. We are not yet at the top for power, by that I mean acceleration and top speed, but without a shadow of doubt it's an excellent package. I have to say that maybe we suffered a bit on tracks with a rough surface but we're working on this as well.

“Obviously Spies is a champion and has always been able to get the best out of the bike's characteristics; Tom started off well then a few too many crashes undermined his confidence a bit. Having Spies as a team-mate however certainly doesn't help..."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Toseland, Crutchlow, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Van der Mark, Lowes, Nakasuga, Yamaha, Suzuka 8 Hours [Credit: Yamaha]
Rea, Sykes, Davies, Podium, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Rea, Sykes, Davies, Podium, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Rea, Sykes, Davies, Podium, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Rea, Sykes, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Rea, Sykes, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes celebration, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Rea, Sykes, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, Rea, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, Melandri, Rea, WSBK Race 2, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, US WSB 2017.
Sykes, US WSB 2017.

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November 23, 2009 2:01 PM
Last Edited 534 days ago

Wow by the sounds of some on here I am surprised Yamaha or Wsbk as a whole do not just fold now Ben Spies has gone!!!??!! The Guy is a talent no doubt and had a great, super year but had he had JT,Bayliss and Haga (more so Bayliss) to deal with last year he would not have won as many races or Poles (and possible the WC) but if,buts and maybe's mean little now. Superbikes was great Before,during BS and will be just fine without him. Lets hope we get a great year of racing as I hold less and less hope for that in GP's!!


November 23, 2009 1:01 PM
Last Edited 520 days ago

One thing about team Yamaha for 2010. They better start out fast. Haga, Fabrizio, Biaggi, Rae. These guys are going to be flying from race one at Phillip Island. Toseland and Crutchlow are going to have to be on the sharp end right away to defend Yamaha's WSBK Championship. Here is wishing Team Yamaha, Cal and James the best of luck in 2010.

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