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Crutchlow and Smith both hoped for more

Crutchlow and Smith both hoped for more

It was a somewhat mixed start to the 2013 MotoGP™ campaign for Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith. As the former rode his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike to a top five position, the latter crashed out of his first Grand Prix in the premier class.

Crutchlow had impressed by sealing second place on the grid on Saturday, but during Sunday’s race made a mistake at Turn 1 while battling with Valentino Rossi.

“It’s positive to finally kick of the championship after a long winter, but to be honest - after the way I had been performing in practice and qualifying - finishing fifth is a little bit frustrating,” Crutchlow said plainly.

“My pace was promising and I think I would have deserved to be on the podium, but it was clear to see that I was lacking a bit of speed on the straight. That meant I had to push hard to close the gap in the corners and if we can resolve that small issue I’ve no doubt I can have the possibility to really challenge the guys at the front.”

Smith had also fared well in qualifying, with the ninth quickest lap time on his debut, but was naturally disappointed to retire from the race on Lap 5.

“It is frustrating to crash out of my first MotoGP race so early because I need to be gaining all the experience I can,” he said. “We changed the bike for tonight and it was much better on corner entry. Unfortunately, I lost the front at Turn 7 and I was down; I’d had a couple of warnings and I will know for the future that I am close to the limit when that happens. There are a lot more positives than negatives to come out of this weekend, but I can’t deny it would have been great to start the year with a top 10 finish.”

The calendar’s next stop will be a new venue for both riders, as the field travels to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas for the first time.


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