MotoGP: Ducati aiming for win at home with solid pace in Mugello
(From left) Yonny Hernandez, Danilo Petrucci, Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso pose during the pre-event in Piazza del Campo in Siena during the MotoGP of Italy - previews on May 27, 2015 in Siena, Italy.
"I knew they were going to do a good job (with the GP15) and they have created a bike that now turns and has grip and is strong in power," Cructhlow said.
"Even if they dropped two liters of rule they could still be as competitive.
"They are really strong and I think they could win the race but firstly I hope a Honda wins the race although we also know Jorge Lorenzo is fast."
Honda’s hopes lie with world champion Marc Marquez who feels more comfortable at the longer Mugello circuit with electronic tuning helping to smooth the aggressive power delivery of the RC213V.
Dovizioso posted the fastest time in Friday’s free practice, edging Marquez by 0.164s with Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) third.
Dovizioso’s GP15 posted a top speed of 216 mph and – while the Hondas are only fractionally slower (214 mph) – Crutchlow says it is difficult to grab a tow in the slipstream of the rocketship red bikes.
"We don’t get a slipstream from the Ducati," he said.
"You can try and get in the bubble but you are not getting a slipstream, the Ducati has got some horsepower that’s for sure."
Ducati’s last MotoGP race win was by Casey Stoner in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.