Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was right in the hunt for a podium finish at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, but the British rider eventually settled for P5 after a lack of rear tyre grip meant he couldn’t keep tabs on the top three in the final laps of the race.
“I gave my best, my best was fifth place today,” said Crutchlow, who had a hard battle with Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) before narrowly losing out on the line to Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) by 0.056 seconds. “I got beat by Valentino at the line simply because I made a mistake at Turn 3 earlier on in the lap and he managed to catch me. So, for this I’m disappointed but the team did a great job all weekend, Honda did a great job.”
The three-time Grand Prix winner then explained how he experienced a lack of rear tyre grip, opposite to what normally happens to the Honda rider. “But I ran out of rear tyre, I had no rear tyre left. It’s strange because we always run out of front tyre and today felt good, we know the difference between mine and Marc’s bike and it was the difference on track today I feel.”
So where does Crutchlow feel the bike needs to improve? “Just in the middle of the corner I couldn’t turn the bike without waiting a long time to open the throttle,” identifies the number 35, who on reflection was happy with how the weekend panned out, despite missing out on the podium.
“But we have to be pleased, we have to be pleased to be in that battle with the guys at the front of the Championship, and competitive.”
Austria’s Red Bull Ring is next up, a circuit Crutchlow admits isn’t a good one for him. “Now we go to Austria which is a bad track for me, you know I’m sponsored by Monster Energy so I need to pick up the game next weekend and put on a good show,” joked the LCR Honda rider, who has finished P15 in the two previous occasions the paddock have visited the Austrian GP.