Cal glad tough season is over
Cal happy to wrap up incredible season of unthinkable highs – but too many lows
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