MotoGP 2017 Preview: LCR Honda

Up until halfway through last season, LCR was the MotoGP equivalent of Stoke City. Very much a mid-table outfit, never hugely in trouble, never going to fight for a title, just happy to be there.

Then Cal Crutchlow seemingly got bored of all that, and exploded. Two wins is the most the team has managed since Casey Stoner rode one on the way to second in the 2005 250CC championship.

So, will they build on it, or will they just simmer down to midtable again, watching Cal get more and more angry as the bike he’s on isn’t as good as him?

The bike

showimage

Name Honda RC213V nr. 35 Factory Spec
Engine 1000CC liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC 4 valve, V-4
Power >250BHP
Chassis Aluminium twin-tube
Transmission 6-speed
Brakes Brembo 4-piston caliper carbon front, Brembo twin piston caliper, Yutaka steel back

It’s in a similar vein to the Tech 3 Yamaha, in that it’s a factory spec bike, just without the winter R&D developments – they may come later in the year, if at all. It won’t be too dissimilar to the one underneath Marc Marquez, just without all the fancy frills.

As always though, the rider of the bike makes it.

The rider

cal

35 – Cal Crutchlow
Age 31 Born Coventry, England
Honours 1x British Supersport champion, 1x World Supersport champion
2016 7th, 141pts, LCR Honda
Race Record
Class Races Wins Podiums Points Best
BSS 36 8 17 478 1st, 2006
BSB 50 2 13 470 3rd, 2008
WSS 17 5 10 260 1st, 2009
WSB 30 3 11 311 5th, 2010
MotoGP 105 2 12 749 5th, 2013

In their solitary rider, they have one of the fastest and gnarliest people on the grid. A two time Supersport champion, he’s never been able to translate that into a consistently great season at the top level.

He has been good in MotoGP, but hasn’t had the bike to push him on – his best finish was on a Tech3, while his solitary season on a factory ride was when Ducati didn’t know if they were running a bike or a psychological experiment in testing the patience of their riders.

Before last year, he had the ego of a multiple world champion without the proof he could do it. A tactical masterstroke at Brno (running hard compound wets while everyone else was on softs) and a battle of nerves at Phillip Island later, and Cal is now a two-time race winner in the premier class. Whether he adds to that this year is more dependant on others rather than his own performance, but it won’t be for a lack of trying if he doesn’t.

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