Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 08 Feb 2016
Cal Crutchlow has said he will be surprised if Ducati do not win the first race of this year’s MotoGP season in Qatar next month.
The British rider believes the Bologna factory has a significant advantage with the new, spec-electronics having used it for the past two years in the open class.
Ducati riders were fast throughout the first test in Sepang last week with five out of the top ten fastest men on Desmosedici machinery.
Danilo Petrucci led the way for the Italian marque setting the second fastest time on the combined timesheets from Jorge Lorenzo. Hector Barbera, Scott Redding, Andrea Iannone and new Ducati test rider Casey Stoner also lapped within 1.5 seconds of the leading Yamaha.
Honda in particular seem to have struggled the most with the new spec-electronics, which make finding a solution for their overly-aggressive engine all the more difficult.
“The electronics for us aren’t doing what they are doing for Ducati,” said Crutchlow. “Ducati know what they are doing with it and they’ve known what they are doing with it for the last two or three years.”
“Everyone else has started a lot after them with it. This is how clever they are; it’s how clever they were when I was there as well. They have it down to a tee. They definitely have the biggest advantage at the moment with regards to winning races. They are so far ahead.
“I think Yamaha have a great package and great riders. A package that is really neutral so they are able to be fast in whatever situation but they aren’t anywhere near Ducati with the electronics and speed. I will be so surprised if a Ducati doesn’t win in Qatar. They’ve got some good riders, they are riding well and they’ve done a good job in regards to the rules.”