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Crutchlow: “We had to start from the back of the grid”

Crutchlow: “We had to start from the back of the grid”

A safety concern on his first bikes forces Cal Crutchlow to switch machines and start from the back of the grid in Valencia.

Having initially qualified in fifth, Cal Crutchlow was optimistic of a strong end to the year at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. Unfortunately the Brit was forced to swap bikes and subsequently start from the back of the grid. The switch prompted due to a safety concern. Having to do his warm up lap behind the safety car meant the LCR Honda rider was unable to push and get heat into his tyres, this made for a tentative opening lap as he did not wish to risk a crash. As his tyres warmed, Crutchlow’s pace improved and he began to cut through the field. A determined ride took the Brit to ninth in the race, an incredible achievement given the circumstances.

With a final top ten result Crutchlow concludes the year eighth in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings with 125 points. After several difficult periods, Crutchlow’s year came strong in the final races with a brace of top ten and top five finishes. These closing results fill both the LCR Honda team and Crutchlow with hope for the coming season as they aim to challenge for more podiums and fighting with the factory riders. The past three seasons have seen Crutchlow ride the Yamaha, Ducati and Honda, consistency in the coming years will be key to continued success he feels.

Cal Crutchlow: “We had to start from the back of the grid because of a safety concern with my other bike. I changed bikes and then had to be patient on the first lap as I had no heat in the tyres because I had to do the warm-up lap behind the safety car. So I wasn’t able to push and I only made up three places in three laps and that made it really difficult to come back through the field. But honestly I was really pleased with my pace once I got going after ten laps and it probably would have been good enough for fourth place today. It was disappointing not to be able to do that and be there, but my bike has not let me down all year and it was just unfortunate we had to start from the back of the grid today.

“I think it was an average year for me, but when I took the decision to stay where I am for the next two years continuity was key. I think with some new parts next year we can be back where we belong challenging for podiums and I’m looking forward to that and am grateful for the faith they have shown in me.”


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