5th placed Crutchlow: ‘I can’t be too disappointed’
Following on from Silverstone, Cal Crutchlow produced another heroic performance to finish fifth in the 26-lap Assen encounter, the British rider defying the pain from a broken left ankle he suffered in a practice crash at Silverstone to fight his way through from last position.
The 26-year-old was fortunate to miss a first corner inc ident involving Jorge Lorenzo and Alvaro Bautista, but in taking evasive action to avoid the Spanish duo’s collision, he was forced to run off track.
Crutchlow ended the first lap down in 12th but he demonstrated his fighting spirit to catch a battle involving Valentino Rossi, Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden for fifth after just five laps. Crutchlow’s stunning early charge saw him set the third fastest lap of the race on lap four and he had swept into fifth place by lap 16.
Crutchlow’s sixth top five finish of the season ensured he remains in fourth place in the World Championship rankings and again he demonstrated the pace that would have certainly put him in the hunt for his maiden MotoGP rostrum had it not been for his unfortunate early off-track excursion.
Cal Crutchlow 5th – 77 points:
“Once again I am contemplating what might have been because without the incident at the first corner I had the pace to be on the podium today. I was actually quite lucky to avoid being collected by Alvaro and Jorge but I still had to run off track and I was last. I’m glad Jorge was not hurt because the job he has done for Yamaha this season has been incredible and he didn’t deserve that today. Alvaro was way too fast and I know he didn’t do that intentionally but you have to be sensible when braking from high-speed for a tight first corner like that. Like in Silverstone I was right at the back but just decided to get my head down and recover as many places as possible. I had a really good battle with the Ducatis but I had a faster pace, although I had one big moment when I lost the front on lap eight and had to do all the hard work again. To be at the back and still come through to fifth is a fantastic result. But there is no doubt I should have been in the battle with Andrea and Ben. With my ankle still causing me a lot of pain and coming from last to fifth, I can’t be too disappointed and I leave here still fourth in the World Championship and that is very important.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“We are a little bit disappointed for Cal, even though he rode another phenomenal race. He showed again he had the pace for the podium but he had to run off track at the f irst corner to avoid the incident with Jorge and Alvaro. It is a shame because I have no doubt he would have been in the battle with Andrea and Ben. But he never gives up and that is a great quality of his. He was last like in Silverstone but fought incredibly hard to get back into the top six and he deserves a lot of credit. I am sure it is not going to be long before Cal gets his first podium but to have both of our riders back in the top five is a great achievement. After seven races we are third just 35-points behind the official Yamaha Factory Team in the Team World Championship. That confirms the incredible support we get from Yamaha but also the wonderful job Andrea and Cal are doing.”
Source: Tech 3 Communications