Cal glad tough sea­son is over

Cal happy to wrap up in­cred­i­ble sea­son of un­think­able highs – but too many lows

Motorcycle News (UK) - - In This Week's Issue - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN SPAIN MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@motorcyclenews.com

Cal Crutchlow has walked away from the fi­nal round of the 2016 Mo­togp sea­son pleased to fi­nally draw a line un­der what has been a dif­fi­cult sea­son for the LCR Honda rider – de­spite en­joy­ing his best suc­cess ever in the premier class with not one but two race wins.

While tak­ing the top step of the podium at both Brno and Phillip Is­land means he en­joyed his best ever re­sults, as well as fin­ish­ing the year sev­enth in the cham­pi­onship and as the top satel­lite rider, it wasn’t all plain sail­ing for Crutchlow. He failed to score points in five of the sea­son’s open­ing eight races – and made things worse by crash­ing out of Sun­day’s fi­nal race of the year.

And with the highs and lows com- bin­ing to make what he ad­mits was a dif­fi­cult sea­son, he’s just pleased to be able to head into the win­ter break.

“I’ve had four podi­ums and two wins – one in the wet and one in the dry – and we have to take a lot of pos­i­tives from the year. Yes, we’re dis­ap­pointed with Sun­day’s race, and I’m glad that the sea­son is over, be­cause I’ve had enough of this year! It’s been emo­tion­ally up and down all year, and even though we were test­ing I could have just as eas­ily jumped on a flight home on Sun­day night.

“But we fin­ished the sea­son in a healthy way, and I be­lieve we have to be pos­i­tive. In a lot of races this year I’ve been able to bat­tle with the fac­tory bikes – and the other satel­lite bikes haven’t done that at all this year. And we’ve done all that on a bike that isn’t as com­pet­i­tive as a lot of the other in­de­pen­dent ma­chines.”

But that comes as lit­tle con­so­la­tion after crash­ing out of Sun­day’s race. De­spite all the progress the LCR Honda squad have made with the dif­fi­cult 2016 RC213V ma­chine, its lack of ac­cel­er­a­tion forced Crutchlow into an old mis­take, push­ing the front tyre too hard un­der brak­ing to make up the dif­fer­ence.

“I didn’t feel com­fort­able all week­end. We were dis­ap­pointed with the race, and I had the pace for the top six, but it be­came ap­par­ent very quickly that I couldn’t push. We never seemed

to get the right set­ting with the bike, al­though in the race I felt OK.

Òafter 10 laps I set­tled into a rhythm and then I could start to push, but the front tyre pres­sure was way too high Ð higher than it had been all week­end. The tyre pres­sure went back down, but then I crashed out go­ing over the limit of the pack­age we had.ó

But Crutchlow was as quick as al­ways to praise his crew.

ÒI did­nõt want to fin­ish the sea­son the way I did, but IÕM proud of my sea­son and proud of my crew. The credit is­nõt just down to me. Yeah, IÕM the one on the podium, but we have to take the re­sults as a whole.ó

With the 2016 sea­son over, and car­ry­ing a num­ber of nig­gling in­juries, Crutchlow is now look­ing for­ward to one thing Ð es­cap­ing the Bri­tish weather and head­ing to Cal­i­for­nia for two months off.

He said: ÒI like to ride my bi­cy­cle! Last year, in the two months off, I did 6500km in the piss­ing rain in the Isle of Man, so it should be a lit­tle bit nicer to do it in the sun! It does­nõt make you as men­tally strong, but you can take in the sights and en­joy it more.ó

‘I’m glad that the sea­son is over... It’s been emo­tion­ally up and down all year’ CAL CRUTCHLOW

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