CAL CRUTCHLOW

LCR HONDA

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Motorgp Silverstone Preview -

Cal Crutchlow will get a hero’s wel­come when he re­turns home to Sil­ver­stone af­ter he ended one of the long­est droughts in Bri­tish sport.

Crutchlow wrote his name in Bri­tish mo­tor­sport folk­lore when he be­came the first rider since late leg­end Barry Sheene to win a premier class World Cham­pi­onship race.

Sheene’s tri­umph at An­der­storp in Swe­den way back in 1981 was four years be­fore Crutchlow was even born.

But a long 35-year wait for Bri­tish suc­cess in the elite level of world mo­tor­cy­cle com­pe­ti­tion fi­nally came to an end when Crutchlow took a glo­ri­ous de­but win in a rain-hit Brno race in the Czech Repub­lic.

In a re­mark­able turn­around in for­tunes for the Isle of Man-based 30-year-old, Crutchlow has now fin­ished on the podium in two of the last three races in what has been an in­cred­i­ble six weeks for him both on and off the track.

Not only has Crutchlow broke Bri­tain’s long run with­out suc­cess in Mo­togp, but he has also re­cently be­come a fa­ther for the first time when wife Lucy gave birth to daugh­ter Wil­low.

Crutchlow said: “Life doesn’t re­ally get much bet­ter than this. I could never have imag­ined hav­ing a few weeks like this. I was over the moon to get back on the podium in Ger­many just be­fore Wil­low was born, but to now win in Mo­togp and be men­tioned in the same breath as a leg­end like Barry Sheene is amaz­ing. I feel I should have won in Mo­togp be­fore Brno and not made the Bri­tish fans wait as long as they have for a Bri­tish win­ner in the premier class, but it’s a su­per spe­cial feel­ing and it was def­i­nitely worth the wait.”

Crutchlow’s stun­ning suc­cess in Brno should en­sure a bumper crowd at the Bri­tish Grand Prix and is he look­ing for­ward to rac­ing at Sil­ver­stone as a Mo­togp win­ner.

And he added: “It will be nice com­ing to Sil­ver­stone know­ing that fi­nally I’m a Mo­togp win­ner. I’ve al­ways had un­be­liev­able sup­port from the Bri­tish fans, so it will be nice to see them happy af­ter my win in Brno. It is very hard to win in Mo­togp and you have to take the op­por­tu­nity when it presents it­self and I’m happy to have fi­nally taken one. Thirty five years is a long time to wait, so I’m hop­ing the Bri­tish fans don’t have to wait so long again for an­other Mo­togp win!”

Iron­i­cally, when Crutchlow com­pleted a dou­ble World Su­per­bike win at Sil­ver­stone in 2010, it paved the way for him to be­come Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful premier class rider since Sheene. Since that glo­ri­ous day se­cured him a seat in the Mon­ster Tech 3 Yamaha squad, Sil­ver­stone has bat­tered, bruised and nearly bro­ken him.

A bro­ken left col­lar­bone ruled him out in 2011. A bro­ken left an­kle then forced him to ride from the back of the grid to a heroic sixth in 2012.

And last year he was look­ing strong to bat­tle for the podium in wet con­di­tions when LCR Honda team­mate Jack Miller tor­pe­doed him out of con­tention.

He said: “Even though I’ve had such bad re­sults, I do ac­tu­ally look for­ward to rac­ing at Sil­ver­stone. I’ve only ever had one de­cent re­sult and that was in 2012 when I came from the back of the grid to sixth with a bro­ken an­kle. I didn’t even think I was go­ing to be able to race and the re­cep­tion I got at the end was in­cred­i­ble. I never thought a sixth place would make so many peo­ple so happy.”

Hav­ing re­turned to the podium for the first time in over a year in Ger­many last month and then win­ning at Brno, Crutchlow is hop­ing those re­sults can be the cat­a­lyst to fi­nally bury his Bri­tish GP de­mons.

He added: “Ev­ery year I go there I think it is go­ing to turn around. Last year never turned around, though Jack turned me around! Sil­ver­stone has got to bring me some luck sooner or later. Be­fore Ger­many and Brno it was quite a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son. We know the Honda is a dif­fi­cult bike to ride and it hasn’t been easy for any of us apart from Marc (Mar­quez). But we have to get on with it and go as fast as we can with we’ve got. I’ve been rid­ing well all year and now my con­fi­dence is high.”

Crutchlow’s big­gest prob­lem at Sil­ver­stone this year might not be cop­ing with the ex­tra pres­sure and de­mands on and off the track, but get­ting some sleep!

He be­came a fa­ther for the first time in the re­cent sum­mer break and he said: “From morn­ing to night you are think­ing about how to go faster and then there are lots of other com­mit­ments on top. I’ll be ar­riv­ing later than usual now I’m a daddy. I’ve got a plan to sleep that week­end and I’ve also got a con­tin­gency plan as well!”

Jack attack! Luck­less Crutchlow got wiped out by team-mate Miller in 2015

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