CRUTCHLOW STUNS W BRIT GP WEEKEND SPECIAL
| On-form Brit backs up Brno win by fighting with and beating Rossi and Marquez
Cal Crutchlow delivered a stunning home podium finish at the British Grand Prix, taking an incredible second place at Silverstone straight off the back of his debut Motogp win at Brno only two weeks earlier.
The LCR Honda rider looked completely at home during Sundays race as he diced with and beat Rossi, Marquez and Iannone. And while his win last time out in the Czech Republic might have come after a gamble on his tyre choice in tricky damp conditions, Crutchlow’s home success was even more gratifying having beaten his peers on a dry track and level playing field.
Running near the top of the timesheets all weekend before securing pole with a breathtaking lap in the rain, he was able to make the most of a new prototype frame from Honda that suits his aggressive riding style and improved the rear grip issues he’s been experiencing all season.
Speaking after climbing off the podium and still reeking of champagne, Crutchlow admitted to MCN that while his Brno win was very special, his second place in front of his home fans meant just as much. He said: “It’s difficult to say that the podium was more satisfying than a win, because I waited a long time for a win – but to be on the podium in front of your home crowd is a very special feeling!”
With three podiums from the last four races – a record that makes him the highest scoring rider of those four races – Crutchlow now finally looks to have returned to the form he last had in 2013 when riding the Tech3 Yamaha he took four podiums from five races on.
“I feel like I’m at a good place, and both Herve my Tech 3 boss and Daniele my Ducati crew chief texted me afterwards to tell me that they think I’m back to my 2013 form. It’s nice to know that they think that way, but I actually think I’m a bit better than I was then, because the bike I’m on now isn’t as competitive as the one I was on then.”
While new parts from Honda and an improved understanding of the control electronics play an important part in Crutchlow’s recent successes, there’s another factor that the Isle of Man resident believes has played an even more important role.
“It comes with confidence. Look at Lorenzo – his bike is as good as Valentino’s but he finished eighth on Sunday. Maybe in five races we won’t see him as he disappears up the road. But you’ve got to take it as it comes and make the most of it – and 66 points in four races is a nice confidence boost!”
But while the new-found pace should go a long way to countering the poor start to the season that he suffered, Crutchlow isn’t expecting people’s opinions of him to change dramatically. Somewhat of a love-hate character, the 30-year-old says that some people won’t give him the credit he believes that he and the LCR squad deserve.
“Some people say you got this that way or you only won this because of that – but I don’t care. I’m the one who can take the win home and the one who can take the abuse. I don’t need someone to tell me I’ve crashed – or that we’re in a good way at the minute.
“I’ll probably be written off again next week anyway and people will say I’m the worst rider in the world and the same old stuff. So for now it’s nice for my team and me to get these results. We’ve worked hard for it and had a good run of races.”