Bri­tish hero pe­nalised then re-in­stated af­ter sweat on his vi­sor blocks his vi­sion

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN ITALY MOTOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Brit GP podium hero Cal Crutchlow be­came em­broiled in a row fol­low­ing his eighth place fin­ish in Sun­day’s race with Motogp race chiefs, af­ter the LCR Honda rider was de­moted one place for ex­ceed­ing track lim­its, be­fore a race con­trol u-turn saw him re-in­stated to eighth.

Crutchlow crossed the line in eighth place, but was moved back af­ter race con­trol deemed that he had cut the first cor­ner five times dur­ing the course of the race.

And although Crutchlow put his hand up and ad­mit­ted that he had made the il­le­gal move, the savvy Brit demon­strated to race con­trol through his data that not only was it not de­lib­er­ate but also that he had en­sured that he gained no ad­van­tage from it by com­ing off the throt­tle on the straight in the fol­low­ing sec­tor (see sep­a­rate story, right).

“I ran across turn one five times, be­cause there was sweat on the in­side of my vi­sor and from lap eight on­wards I couldn’t see a thing! I nor­mally have a sweat pad, but it wasn’t in the right po­si­tion and was drip­ping ev­ery­where!

“Of the five times, on three of those I gained two tenths – but then gave it back in the next sec­tor every time. It was ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous – the worst de­ci­sion they could have made. I com­pletely agree I went off the track, but what could I do?”

Crutchlow was just one of a num­ber of rid­ers caught up in a row over track lim­its dur­ing the week­end, how­ever, with mul­ti­ple penal­ties be­ing handed out in every class. But while the con­tro­ver­sial is­sue has been raised re­peat­edly so far this sea­son, the 30-year-old has an easy so­lu­tion to the is­sue.

“Just put grass on the out­side of the cor­ners. The track lim­its at other tracks are grass, and while there are some places we need a lit­tle bit for safety rea­sons, there are oth­ers where

‘I ran across turn one five times, be­cause there was sweat on the in­side of my vi­sor’ CAL CRUTCHLOW

you gain noth­ing by run­ning onto the paint they put down.”

With the lack of vi­sion bring­ing a pre­ma­ture halt to an oth­er­wise-strong race from Crutchlow that saw him putting in some of the fastest laps of the race in the early stages, the Czech Grand Prix win­ner be­lieves that if he had been able to see prop­erly then he would have been able to fin­ish much fur­ther for­ward.

“You’re al­ways go­ing to say that you could have done bet­ter, but every­one saw how fast I caught Dovi and Mav­er­ick in the race – and then once I got be­hind them I couldn’t see a thing.

“I think with­out that prob­lem I could have been maybe four tenths faster over a lap every lap. It wouldn’t have been enough to win the race, but it would have put me where Mav­er­ick was in fifth.”

Crutchlow made sure he gained no ad­van­tage from the move

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