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Tough home race for Tech 3

"I literally fell off the side of the bike and that was it" - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards both fell during the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team's home French MotoGP at Le Mans on Sunday.

MotoGP rookie Crutchlow was first to tumble, out of ninth place on lap 6, spoiling a weekend in which he had qualified an excellent sixth on the grid.

“I'm pretty disappointed because looking at how the race panned out I could have been in sixth place because when I crashed I was having a good battle with Ben [Spies],” said Crutchlow.

“I'd caught him quite easily and was looking forward to a good race when I made a stupid little mistake in Turn 6. I touched the kerb and I lost the front. I literally fell off the side of the bike and that was it.

“It is disappointing because I had the pace to get another top eight, but these things can happen when you're pushing so hard in a competitive class like MotoGP. I managed to get back on the bike but there was a problem with the throttle, so it was impossible for me to carry on.

“I showed my raw speed all weekend so I'm not going to be too hard on myself, though I was desperate to get a good result for Tech 3 and Monster.”

Whilst Crutchlow was unable to continue, Edwards at least brought his damaged M1 home 13th and last for three world championship points. The Texan had been holding seventh when he fell at the first chicane on lap 14 of 28.

“I got one of the best starts I've had in a long time and I just flew off the line but it was the usual jostle for position at the first corner,” recalled Edwards. “I got a bit of clear track in front of me and I could see Valentino was coming back to me a little bit and Dovizioso and Lorenzo were also just in front of him.

“I rode at my absolute maximum to try and stay with them because I really wanted to get a top six for Tech 3 and for Monster. I was losing four of five bike lengths though coming onto the back straight and then I'd also lose a bit more time at the next chicane because I wasn't that fast through there.

“I could see the gap was staying at 1.5s and there was nothing I could do. I wasn't making mistakes but neither were they, so I could see them but just not get close enough.

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Edwards, French MotoGP 2011
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May 16, 2011 9:10 AM

Well that sucked dog's testicles! What an awful race for Tech 3 at their home round. This track seems cursed for the team's rookie riders. JT crashed here in his first year in '08, Spies did it last year, and now CC this year. A tricky place for the inexperienced it seems. Disappointing for the team but it's not all bad. Crutchlow certainly had the pace for a top 10 again and CE2 finally got his start sorted out. Chalk it down to tough learning and move on.

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