Crutchlow: ‘I should’ve won’
Brave Brit claims tech trouble cost him the chance to battle for glory at action-packed Argentine GP
Cal Crutchlow has come away from Sunday’s Argentinian Grand Prix pleased to have finally returned to the podium after a series of disastrous results – but disappointed that he wasn’t able to challenge for the win after struggling with technical problems.
Finishing a race for the first time since he won the Australian Grand Prix back in October, the LCR Honda rider was on fine form during the 25-lap battle, doing well to stick with race-leader Maverick Viñales and to hold off the attentions of Valentino Rossi until the final stages of the race.
The two-times race winner in 2016 told MCN that while he was pleased with his performance, he believes that if circumstances outside of his control (the details of which he wouldn’t fully divulge) hadn’t played a factor, he could have challenged Viñales.
“It was an easy race, because I didn’t push too hard as I couldn’t brake how I wanted to. I think it was possible for me to beat Maverick, but I had to manage the situation. It was very difficult throughout the race, especially when someone is on your arse like Vale was!
“Maverick came past and I tried to follow him and manage things, then I saw Vale +0, Vale +0, Vale +0 and knew I had to push – and then the warning light came on. I slowed down, tried to manage the situation, but when Vale came past he seemed to have a little more grip than me.
“I wasn’t pushing so hard, but I had to use some tricks to make sure we finished. I could do the same lap times, and I could have probably caught Maverick, but I wouldn’t have finished.”
The race wasn’t an easy one for any of the Honda riders, though, with Crutchlow the top machine as both factory Repsol Honda riders crashed out – something that highlights just how difficult the 2017 RC213V is.
“I’ve ridden a crossplane crank engine before, and this is engine different to that. It does some things better – we can pick up the throttle easier and it feels like we have some more power this year, but it’s even more unrideable.
“Physically, the last five laps were demanding even though I wasn’t pushing that hard, because this thing is shaking all over the place in the braking zone.”
But Cal comes away from the race happy to have redeemed himself after crashing twice last time out in Qatar.
“I think we did a good job to manage the situation and bring the bike home in a podium position. It’s nice to start the season with a podium in the first two races, and I’m pleased for the team after what happened in Qatar.”
‘ The last five laps were demanding because it was all over the place’