PRESSURE COOKS CRUTCHLOW
Cal Crutchlow was thwarted in his ambitions to take another strong result at one of his best circuits when a tyre pressure warning forced him to drop out of the battle for fourth place early on in Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
And, with high ambitions at a track that suits the Honda RC213V to a tee and where he finished second in 2016, the Brit was left fuming after being denied his chance to get stuck in.
“It was probably the most disappointing race of the year – I’ve crashed out of races this year and been happier. I’m glad that it’s over and that I can go into the break and put it behind me.”
The tyre pressure issue has been a problem before and is caused by the extreme load that the Honda riders are forced to put the front tyre under in order to maintain their advantage into corners on the slow-to-accelerate bike.
That generates increased heat and with it pressure – and was enough to bring Crutchlow’s top-five challenge to a premature end.
“We have a warning light on the dash and it came on after three laps. And the data showed that after three laps it was already way higher than it’s been in any race this year. So 27 laps later, you can imagine how much I had to manage it. We should have anticipated it before the race, but we didn’t.
“I had to ride alone and get fresh air or I wasn’t going to finish. I nearly went down two or three times in those first two or three laps. I was confident that I could have done my own rhythm and my own pace when I made my pass on Valentino, but he passed me right back. My pace wasn’t much worse than the race leaders, but I finished tenth.”
‘ The warning light came on after just three laps’ CAL CRUTCHLOW
Cal was in the mix before tyre troubles struck