Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) crossed the line in P6 at the Motul TT Assen to build on his solid fourth place in Barcelona, but did a mistake cost the British rider podium finish?
Before the race tyre changes were aplenty, with Crutchlow suggesting that he was the rider to instigate the switch that saw eventual winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) opt for the soft rear tyres instead of the hard compound. “I think I instigated the tyre change, the guys saw with 22 laps on the tyre that I was still in the 1:34 bracket, so then they all knew that it was a good option for the race,” commented the number 35. “I changed and it seemed everybody else changed with me.”
The Argentine GP race winner launched from second and held station into Turn 1 before losing out to the fast-starting Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), but Crutchlow didn’t want to push too hard in the early laps. “Yeah, I got a good start and not a bad first lap but I decided not to push too hard because the front tyre was too soft for the Hondas it seemed, this is why you probably saw Marc get passed in the braking a few times as well.”
WATCH THE LIGHTS...GO! ????#MotoGP have lift off at the #DutchGP! pic.twitter.com/dNep1JYeqs— MotoGP™???? (@MotoGP) July 1, 2018
Despite dropping a number of places in the opening laps, Crutchlow was involved in the eight-rider battle throughout the race and a podium was certainly on the agenda. “It was a good race, I just think the last two laps were my downfall because it went past the 100% wear gage on the tyre it seems and I made a big mistake,” explained Crutchlow, who had just passed Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) with two laps to go. “I passed Valentino and thought I could push for the guys at the front but I ran really wide in Turn 8 and just stayed on the bike and had to settle for sixth position.”
The 32-year-old continued, describing a similar issue he suffered at Mugello – the front tyre overheating when racing in a big group. “I was happy in sixth or seventh where I was and thought just stay at my rhythm and I knew I could do a good pace but I needed fresh air, once I had fresh air I was able to do the lap time but this is typical Honda,” said the Isle of Man resident, who enjoyed the incredible fight at the ‘Cathedral’, but admitted he would have preferred it if there were less riders at the front.
“Yeah it was really good, I didn’t like to be in the battle too much, I’d have preferred to be four guys because it would have made it a little bit easier but this is the situation. I said I thought seven or eight guys could be on the podium and it seemed that way.”
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