F THE BRITS

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp Preview -

What are your strengths and weak­nesses go­ing to be this year?

My big­gest strength this year will be my at­ti­tude, to­wards rac­ing and to­wards the sit­u­a­tion I’m in. My big­gest weak­ness will be the front tyre. With the bike we have, we have prob­lems with the front of the bike – sure, we have prob­lems with the rear too, but the big­gest weak­ness is the front tyre.

What are your re­sults go­ing to be?

I’m not go­ing to say a place, but I will say that it’ll be a sur­prise where I fin­ish. There are go­ing to be peo­ple on the floor left, right and cen­tre this year, and if some­one can do what Brad did last year, and con­sis­tently stay on the bike, then you could end up in the top three! Also though, you’re go­ing to see some race win­ners you’d never ever ex­pect to be race win­ners.

I’m hop­ing to win a race this year. Ob­vi­ously it’ll de­pend on the pack­age; if Marc and Dani can’t win, then it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult for us to win, be­cause we’ll be on a lesser pack­age. But I have to be­lieve that at some point I can win a race. Peo­ple will say I’m dream­ing, but you have to dream to achieve.

Where are you go­ing to be rid­ing in 2017?

I won’t be telling you that. I think that we have to stay calm, do what we have to do, and let peo­ple in this pad­dock who know what’s re­ally go­ing on de­cide what hap­pens. We do have to be as close as pos­si­ble to the fac­tory bikes, to Marc or Dani. We know the gap gets big­ger when they start to de­velop, but we have to be close to one of them.

BRADLEY AND SCOTT RATE CAL

Cal Crutchlow had a less-than-per­fect 2015 on the LCR Honda. Fin­ish­ing the year in a lowly eighth with only one podium to his name, the kind of stats that will no doubt mo­ti­vate the never-say-die 30 year old to greater things in 2016.

“Cal is out to re­claim best Brit, and to re­gain his sta­tus within the pad­dock as top satel­lite rider af­ter a tough year,” ex­plained Smith. “That drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion to pull him­self up the leader­board will be a big strength.”

“His weak­ness is his man­u­fac­turer. They’re in dif­fi­cul­ties, and un­for­tu­nately that could slow him down. He seems to be fig­ur­ing it out within his team though,” Smith con­tin­ued.

In­deed, strug­gling like all the Honda rid­ers to come to grips with the new 2016 pack­age, Crutchlow has had a dif­fi­cult pre-sea­son – but fast times to end all three tests may prove that there’s light at the end of the tun­nel.

And if they can get a feel­ing for the new bike, there’s no rea­son why the top satel­lite ac­co­lade and a few podi­ums should be be­yond his grasp.

“I think Cal will be sev­enth or eighth in the ti­tle. Cal will get a few re­ally good re­sults and he’ll do a lot of crash­ing; that’s his style!” ex­claimed Red­ding. “His weak­ness is that he’s in­con­sis­tent – he’s not con­sis­tent ev­ery lap, ev­ery race, ev­ery week­end – but if he gets away in a good group and he’s com­fort­able, he can fin­ish the race with the pace of the lead­ers, then other times he can crash out just as eas­ily.”

What are your strengths and weak­nesses go­ing to be this year?

My big­gest strength this year will be hav­ing a bike un­der me that lets me ex­cel in my strong ar­eas, af­ter hav­ing two years of strug­gling. I’m hav­ing fun again, and we all know that a rider that’s hav­ing fun is a fast rider.

I don’t have a weak­ness! We’re not sure be­cause of where we’re at yet where my chal­lenges are com­ing from. Ev­ery­one could be a chal­lenger, es­pe­cially in the first few races, and we don’t know what will hap­pen. The usual guys at the front will be push­ing, and Viñales will be there too.

What are your re­sults go­ing to be?

I be­lieve I can fin­ish in the top six. It’s not go­ing to be easy, and I’m not go­ing to be able to do it ev­ery race, but I can be top six at the end of the year. My best race re­sult will be in­ter­est­ing. I think we’ve got a chance of win­ning one, es­pe­cially see­ing what I’ve done in test­ing. I’m strong in the wet and the dry, and I make big steps through a week­end. If we can con­tinue, we can take a win or stand on the podium a few times.

Where are you go­ing to be in 2017?

Hope­fully in 2017 I’m go­ing to be on the red bike next door – one of the fac­tory Du­catis!

If the cap fits… but which of our bat­tling Brits will tri­umph come the end of the sea­son?

Brad, Cal and Scott. Not to be con­fused with the UK’S Euro­vi­sion en­try No­body knows the Tech 3 bike bet­ter than Brad True grit and a stack of tal­ent will boost Cal

A happy Scott is a fast Scott, and he’s grin­ning Laverty has re­con­nected with the bike and re-found his con­fi­dence

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