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MotoGP: Shaina interviews… Cal Crutchlow!

"When other people believe you can't do it, you have to prove them wrong"
11-year-old Indonesian MotoGP fan Shaina Salvia interviews LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow...

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
You once told me that the Honda MotoGP bike is difficult to ride, but now you seem to have found the key how to ride it. Could you tell us what is the secret behind your speed? Was it because you could tame the bike, or did you find the right setting for the engine and the tyres?

Cal Crutchlow:
I would say it is the combination of both. My team has been working very, very hard. The bike is still very difficult to understand and ride. It is the physically most demanding MotoGP bike. We had to make it more smooth and easier to ride in all the areas. In the entry, in the corner and on the exit. So we are always trying to improve this. I also found some speed, but it is just riding the bike more and understanding how to get on with it and use what you have. I think me, Marc, Dani, Jack and Tito are doing a good job to improve it.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
I understand. I hope for you, you will get better and better.

Cal Crutchlow:
I hope too!

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
You have crashed a lot in that progress, but finally you could get back to yourself. Can you tell me how you picked yourself up and can you give some tips to kids about how to get their spirit back when they have lost?

Cal Crutchlow:
I think you have to always be confident in yourself. I continue to crash now, even in practices, qualifying and whenever. But I still manage to get back up, be confident enough to push, and a lot of times go even faster. But this is part of racing. You have your ups and downs, and you have to learn from your mistakes. Learn why you did it. But at the start of last year most of the crashes were not my fault and the luck was not on my side. But that's ok, because from August on the luck was on my side very often.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
So you just have to continue doing it on and on, and the next time you will be better, if you continue believing you can do this?

Cal Crutchlow:
Also when other people believe you can't do it, you have to prove them wrong.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
I see a lot of talented young riders who have difficulties to find a team and they have to pay by themselves. Any tips for them what to do?

Cal Crutchlow:
The same again. You have to believe in yourself, because our sport is not an easy sport. Me, and everybody who is racing here, are very fortunate to be in the position to race and earn our living from the job that we love. So, you have to choose not to give up. There were many times in my career when I thought 'maybe it's gonna be my last year, maybe I don't want to race anymore, maybe I want to stop'. But I still get better every day and I want to do this job. If you keep believing in yourself and your abilities, you keep going upwards. As a young rider, you might be struggling to get a ride or find sponsors. If you keep believing in yourself and get good results, you will get it sorted.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
I have a question about the rule about exceeding the track limits. For me it is strange, when a rider in a fight gets penalised. Can you give me your opinion about this rule?

Cal Crutchlow:
My opinion is that is the same for everyone. But I don't really like the rule either. Because if you make a tiny mistake and gain no advantage, and you get penalised. Sometimes just for going over the line by an inch. So, it is confusing for the riders too. Halfway around the track you are still not sure if you'll get penalised or not.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
Last year at Silverstone you could beat Marc Márquez in a battle, although he has a factory bike, as we all know with a better specification. How could you do this?

Cal Crutchlow:
In that race, I was very pleased to take the podium, especially because it was my home race. The battle with Marc was great, also with Valentino. I was just disappointed not to beat Maverick, because I think, it would have been very special if I could win. I was able to push, but was just not close enough to Maverick. I thought I could catch him, but then we started to battle with Marc and Valentino and Maverick was riding superb. We don't know what would have been. But to beat Marc was something very special too, because it does not happen very often. We were pleased as a satellite team.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
Since baby Willow was born, people say you got better. What impact did the baby give to your racing life?

Cal Crutchlow:
I don't think my racing life has changed so much. I think I am calmer as a person, than what I was before Willow was born. But in general I feel that in my home life and in Lucy's life it is a big change. There is one thing that is certain; since Willow has been born, I am faster. So, that is definitely a good thing! Now I have to continue to improve on the bike, and I have to continue as a daddy as well. But we are learning, we are enjoying, she is a fantastic daughter to have. She is sleeping great, is always smiling and playing. Maybe on the track I am just a little bit more calm now, because I am still in the mode of being really quiet, sending her to sleep. Maybe on the bike this is working better.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
My last question, and I am very excited about this question: When she will grow up, do you want her to be a rider?

Cal Crutchlow:
No. But of course if she wants to have a bike, she can have a bike. She is a Daddy´s girl. So at the moment, whatever she wants, she can have, and that's terrible! So, if she wants a little bike, of course she can have it. But if I have my choice, I never want her to race. Because this sport is too difficult, too dangerous, too political, and I don't want her to be subject to those things. As my daughter, I will try to protect her all the time from everything. Especially the boys. And if she is racing with the boys, they will try to kiss her! I am not having this. No, honestly, in the fields at home she can play with me with her bike.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:
Thank you very much for your time.

Cal Crutchlow:
You are very welcome.

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Tagged as: Cal Crutchlow

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May 15, 2017 2:45 PM

There's an old racing adage that says you can't make a slow rider fast but you can stop a fast rider crashing. And I've never believed it. The history of motorcycle racing is littered with the names of so many fast riders who were never able to stop their propensity for hitting the deck. Davide Giugliano is a recent example, and before him you had names like Ruben Xaus. Fast riders who never really improved their DNF stat. Likewise, I'm not sure Cal will ever reduce his crash percentage. There seems to be something in his make-up as a rider that doesn't allow him to safely and regularly find the limit. You could argue that it makes him very brave to try so hard as he does given the consequences he's often suffered. But it also places limits on what he can achieve in a season, even as an occasional race winner. Nice interview anyway. Shaina definitely has a career in front of her!

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