Cal keeps his cool to come fourth

| | CAL ON CHARGE Hard-rid­ing Brit takes it to the fac­tory men at Austin

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK IN MCN - Si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

Cal Crutchlow came away from the third round of the 2017 Mo­togp sea­son in Austin with mixed feel­ings af­ter se­cur­ing an im­pres­sive fourth place, but dis­ap­pointed to have missed out on his sec­ond podium of the year.

The dou­ble Mo­togp race win­ner looked strong through­out the week­end at the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­cas as he made him­self a reg­u­lar fea­ture in­side the top five – but a crash that left him start­ing from ninth on the grid in­stead of a pre­dicted front row meant he had just too big a moun­tain to climb come the open­ing laps of Sun­day’s race.

He said: “I’m happy enough with the race but dis­ap­pointed to not have made the podium. I made a good CAL CRUTCHLOW

start but then got Zarco’d in the first lap, lost some time with Lorenzo too, and there was some to-ing and fro-ing that cost me some more time. I could have caught Dani and made it to third, but I left it too late get­ting past Zarco.

“I could have been fur­ther ahead, potentially. To qual­ify ninth, though – I was p***ed-off about crash­ing! I didn’t even get to turn 11, not even a third of the way around, and I was seven tenths up on my own best time! If I had con­tin­ued that, it would have been front row eas­ily.”

Yet while he might not have achieved what he wanted from Sun­day’s race, Crutchlow is still do­ing con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than he was this time last year, com­ing away from the third race of the sea­son with 29 points and fifth place in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings as op­posed to 17th place over­all 12 months ear­lier.

“Imag­ine if I had been fifth in Qatar – we would be a lot higher in the stand­ings than we are now! But we have to take that on the chin, be­cause we made a mis­take as a team there and hope­fully that won’t bite us in the arse later in the year.

“But I think I’m rid­ing bet­ter as a per­son, we’re all stronger as a man­u­fac­turer, and although we’re hav­ing to ride around a lot of is­sues at the minute we all know that it’s go­ing to be a lot, lot bet­ter once it does im­prove. I ex­pect Jerez to be good for Marc and Dani be­cause they tested there, but I don’t think we’re any less com­pet­i­tive than Dani is at the minute – and even than Marc is in some ar­eas.”

‘I could have made it to third, but I left it too late get­ting past Zarco’

Cal fi­nally gets the bet­ter of Yamaha rookie Zarco

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