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29 days ago
By motogp.com

Gritty Crutchlow claims season best P4 in Le Mans Q2

The British rider qualified P4 in France despite his ongoing right arm issues, his first Saturday top 10 of 2020

It’s safe to say Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) has endured an incredibly tough 2020 MotoGP™ season. But on Saturday afternoon at the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France, Crutchlow was back fighting at the sharp end to claim P4 on Sunday’s grid.

It’s just reward for the number 35’s sheer grit and determination after a luckless campaign. A fractured left scaphoid suffered in Spanish GP Warm Up saw Crutchlow miss the opening weekend of the season and since then, 2020 has been plagued by injury. Surgery followed the Warm Up tumble and then ahead of the Misano double header, the three-time Grand Prix winner underwent arm pump surgery.

If the complications surrounding the surgery weren’t difficult enough, with Crutchlow’s arm producing a lot of fluid and not healing well with the stitches, arriving in Barcelona the HRC rider tripped and fell on the way out of the PCR testing booth. The fall ruptured Crutchlow’s ankle ligaments but nevertheless, Crutchlow secured P10 in Barcelona with arm and ankle injuries.

Despite a weekend off, Crutchlow’s arm is still far from in a pretty state. However, the Briton has got his head down, gritted his teeth and will start from his best qualifying position of the season. P4 in Le Mans Q2 is - probably - ride of the day and, rather understandably, Crutchlow was happy to be back amongst the battle for pole position.

 

“It was a good day. I enjoyed being up there again in yesterday and then today. In FP4 I wasn’t too competitive but in qualifying I was able to put a good lap in, which is the first step towards being back at the front and where we want to be in tomorrow’s race and the rest of the year,” commented Crutchlow, who admitted that his arm felt worse in the morning than it did in the afternoon.

“In the morning the arm feels worse than it does then in the afternoon. So in the afternoon I’m able to do some not bad sessions and not do a bad pace and it seemed in Barcelona to be the same. In the race I wasn’t too bad with the arm, so hopefully it’s a little better again tomorrow.”

Can Crutchlow mount a podium challenge from P4? He’ll certainly be hoping so, and you can't rule out the British bulldog. Tune in for the French GP to see how the 34-year-old gets on.

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