| On-form Brit backs up Brno win by fight­ing with and beat­ing Rossi and Mar­quez

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - AT SIL­VER­STONE MO­TOGP REPORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­ 12-PAGE

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.”

Hard-charg­ing Cal beat fac­tory rid­ers with a frame that they re­jected!

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