Cal Crutchlow admitted his final MotoGP race before leaving Tech 3 Yamaha for Ducati was “emotional” but said his crash at Valencia would not sour his farewell.
The Briton, who will replace 2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden in the factory team after three years riding a satellite Yamaha, low-sided early on while running in the lead group. Despite the non-finish Crutchlow ended 2013 as the top satellite rider in fifth overall, with four podiums and two pole positions to his name.
After enjoying his most competitive season in grand prix motorcycling’s premier class to date, he praised both his team with which he has spent his entire three-year MotoGP career and his former boss Herve Poncharal.
“This morning I was quite confident of a podium but I blew an engine in the warm-up, so we went into the race a bit blind,” he said. “I’m disappointed, but I’ve had three fantastic years with Tech 3. Me and Herve have become close friends and I really enjoyed my time with all the guys.
“It was quite a different feeling before the race. I heard over the radio them say, ‘Let’s go boys, for the last time’ so it was a bit emotional.”
Crutchlow will test for Ducati at Valencia on Monday, but said it was unlikely the outing would be anything more than a few exploratory runs.
“Now it’s on to something different,” he added. “I have nothing new to try, I will not be on Nicky’s bike, but we’ll see tomorrow. It will probably just be a couple of hours on the bike.”