Crutchlow: Zarco would've struggled with Honda MotoGP bike too

David Gruz, Oriol Puigdemont
Crutchlow: Zarco would've struggled at Honda too
Crutchlow: Zarco would've struggled at Honda too

Cal Crutchlow reckons Johann Zarco would have struggled just as much, if not more, with Honda, should he have joined it instead of KTM for the 2019 MotoGP season.

Zarco was heavily linked with a move to Honda early last year, but he ended up signing a two-year deal with KTM - a move that turned out to be disastrous, with his struggles in adapting to the RC16 leading him to request his contract be terminated a season early.

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Earlier this week, KTM then announced Zarco would be dropped from its line-up effective immediately, with test rider Mika Kallio taking his place for the remaining six races.

Crutchlow, who has repeatedly criticised this year's RC213V for not being rider-friendly, reckons that Zarco would have had a similarly difficult year has he joined Honda.

"If he thinks the Honda is any easier than the KTM than he needs to think again, if that was his other option at the time," said Crutchlow.

"[He would have struggled] exactly the same, if not worse.

"He is a smooth rider and if he would have stayed there [Yamaha] he would have probably been in the same speed as what Quartararo is now.

"That's his riding style, he understands the bike."

Crutchlow sympathised with Zarco and reckoned he has a "different personality" to most riders, which made it difficult to cope with his situation.

"At the end of the day, I do feel sorry for him, he is a fantastic rider, a world champion [in Moto2 in '15 and '16] and you don't click your fingers and turn that off.

"I think his personality is a lot different to - not everyone else's - but it is different and maybe he didn't deal with the situation as well as what others may or may not have been able to.

"It is a shame to see him at home because although he chose not to ride next year, or they chose for him, we saw in Misano [where he was eighth in qualifying and 11th in the race], it was his best race weekend of the year."

Crutchlow: Zarco would've struggled at Honda too
Crutchlow: Zarco would've struggled at Honda too

Andrea Dovizioso, who made the transition from Honda to Yamaha machinery in '12, and then to Ducati the following year said it is "normal" to see riders having difficulties changing bikes, but feels Zarco struggled an "unusual" amount.

"Every time the story is different, so I can't know exactly the details from KTM, and the switch from Yamaha to KTM is especially huge," the Ducati rider said.

"It's normal [to struggle when changing bikes], this can happen.

"It's quite unusual and strange to see him struggle so much, and he was not able to improve the situation; that is the negative thing. For sure there is a reason.

"I think Zarco is a big talent, he showed last year with [Tech3] Yamaha, he rode in a completely different way than the factory riders and sometimes was a bit faster.

"When the feeling is going down, it's difficult to come back."

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