Cal Crutchlow Blows Golden Podium Chance

September 17, 2012
Scott Mathews
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There are few people worthy of getting an audience with Mathews but he makes himself available on occasion to the racers of the Grand Prix paddock. If they’re lucky, he might even mention their name. He’s Scott Mathews, and he’s bringing you the inside scoop on MotoGP.

Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow fighting for position at Misano.
Cal Crutchlow right behind his teammate Andrea Dovizioso at Misano just prior to Crutchlow crashing out of the contest.

Cal Crutchlow was lining-up an attack on Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso when he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in Turn 1 at Misano.

The 2009 World Supersport champion was unable to remount and get back in the race after a bent right handlebar jammed his throttle, and the Coventry rider lamented missing the chance to make an immediate return to the rostrum.

The 26-year-old became the first British rider in 12 years to claim a premier class podium at the previous round in Brno. He said: “I crashed and that was my own fault. The worst thing is getting away with Dovi in front of you because he holds you up. He is so late on the brakes but his corner speed and acceleration are not that different. He is just so good on the brakes and he goes so deep on the brakes. I made a hash of the start but I didn’t feel that was my fault. I am notorious for getting bad starts and it’s something we need to work on. But even the guys have seen on the data that I release the clutch and nothing happens. I lost three places in one lap and I had to change a map straightaway as I noticed I didn’t have enough acceleration compared to the others. I got stuck behind Dovi for a few laps and just as I was about to pass him I crashed. It’s simple as that and I can’t say anymore, it was my own fault.”

Crutchlow believes he could have comfortably battled for second behind eventual winner Jorge Lorenzo and he added: “I really feel we had the pace to get away with Lorenzo. I may not have stayed with him for the whole race but I definitely felt I had the pace to be able to go with him. We were very strong in two sectors and the two that were not his best, so there probably would have been a yo-yo affect. I could have hung with him for a while and even if I dropped off I still would have been on the podium. I think we have let an easy podium go. We are still struggling with stopping the bike at the start of the race.”

Bradley Smith Relishing Working with Cal Crutchlow in 2013

Bradley Smith is relishing the prospect of teaming up with fellow British rider Cal Crutchlow in next year’s MotoGP world championship.

Smith’s two-year deal with the Tech 3 Yamaha squad was confirmed during the recent Brno MotoGP round in the Czech Republic and the 21-year-old will join Crutchlow on a factory-backed YZR-M1 machine in 2013.

Cal Crutchlow crashed out after losing the front end at Misano.
Cal Crutchlow will be joined by Bradley Smith in 2013 on Monster Yamaha Tech 3 after Dovizioso moves to Ducati.

Crutchlow penned a one-year deal to stay with the French-based Tech 3 Yamaha squad in Brno after lengthy talks broke down with Ducati and the Bologna factory signed Andrea Dovizioso to replace Valentino Rossi.

Crutchlow enjoyed a breakthrough weekend in Brno when he followed up his career best second on the grid with a maiden podium after he took third behind Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.

Smith will make his Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP debut in the traditional post-race test session in Valencia in November and the Oxfordshire rider believes Crutchlow’s premier class experience will be a huge boost to help him learn how to master the switch to carbon brakes, Bridgestone tires and the vast influence of electronic rider aids.

Smith, who currently rides for the Tech 3 Racing Moto2 team, said: “It is great from my point of view to be with Cal because he is going to be in his third year. If Herve (Poncharal) had taken two rookies, which could have been a chance at one point, then that puts a lot of pressure on the riders to get the results. So to have somebody there with experience, and the results that Cal has had this year, takes a bit of pressure off me so I can learn and try to progress.”

Crutchlow and Smith have a good relationship off the track and have been winter training partners in California in the past. Smith added: “The nice thing is we are friends and we know each other well. It will be nice to have a friendly face inside the garage because in MotoGP I am going to be put on the plank and we are going to see whether I can do it or not.”