‘Why should Honda change its MotoGP bike to suit me?’  - Cal Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow doesn't agree that Honda should develop the 'edgy' RC213V away from Marc Marquez's riding style, saying it is up to him to adapt to it

Cal Crutchlow - LCR Honda

Cal Crutchlow says he is under no illusions that Honda will ever develop the Honda RC213V away from Marc Marquez’s discerning riding style because of his dominance on the machine.

The Briton has previously argued the RC213V has been built to maximise the traits of Marquez’s active riding style, but this has come at the behest of other riders in the Honda fold that have struggled to get the most from it in recent years.

Indeed, LCR rider Crutchlow for one believes the Honda requires you to ride it on the edge to get the most from it, a strength in Marquez’s hands but problematic for him and a smooth rider such as Jorge Lorenzo.

However, in an interview with our sister publication Crash.net, Crutchlow insists he wants a bike that is ‘edgy’ and ‘physically demanding’ because there is potentially more to get from the package.

“The bike is more physically demanding than the others that’s for sure, so when you get a good result on it I feel it means more,” he said. “One of the reasons it is like that is because we can push so much in the braking zone as it is a very strong point of the Honda. You can brake later and harder and force the bike more. On a bike like that the concentration level has to be 100% all the time.”

Ironically, pre-season testing revealed the RC213V had become too edgy even for Marquez, whose complaints about the handling characteristics of the 2020 model mirrored those of Crutchlow and Lorenzo from 2019. However, Crutchlow believes this was accentuated on the Qatar track and were on the way to being fixed just before the season start was suspended.

“It’s precisely because of its edgy nature that I enjoy riding it, you can’t relax for a second and that fits well with my style. I don’t think we have done enough mileage on the new bike to understand everything yet, but I think on the engine side and electronics we are stronger than last year.

“We’ll continue to work in a good way on the chassis with HRC to give them information to improve the feeling. Some tracks it feels better than others and in Qatar we really struggled on the first two days but the last days I think we found something more positive.”

Cal Crutchlow doesn’t expect a smoother bike from Honda

While some have argued it would be in Honda’s interests to soften the bike’s characteristics to ensure all Honda riders are able to get the most from it, Crutchlow himself doesn’t expect the manufacturer to deviate far from ensuring its number one rider in Marquez has the perfect package to win the title on.

“I think HRC does a great job of listening to all the riders, but Marc has won lots of championships and is simply the best in the world right now. Given that he can win championships on the bike as it is, why would they change if that is the aim of racing?

He also dismissed the notion of Honda developing two different RC213Vs for its riders - a harsher, more active version for Marquez and a softer, Yamaha-style version for Crutchlow – saying it is up to the rider to adapt.

“I don’t think that would help honestly. It’s very hard to develop one style bike let alone two or three. I think it is down to the rider to try to ride what they have underneath them to the best of their ability, it’s really down to the rider to make the difference.”

Crutchlow also confirmed he has no plans to retire at the end of the 2020 despite suggesting he would at various points in 2019.

“I plan on racing again next season and I plan to be competitive again. I still love what I do and am still very motivated, that’s all I can say at the moment.”