After being stung by disappointment last time out at Assen, 2011 MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow has revealed that he is 'up for it' heading into this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, and determined to banish his Dutch TT ill-fortune with 'a strong performance' at Mugello.
On his return from the broken left collarbone he sustained in a qualifying crash that had ruled him out of his home race at Silverstone a fortnight earlier, Crutchlow produced a characteristically brave and gritty performance at Assen.
After qualifying an excellent sixth – doing battle, indeed, for the front row of the grid – the Tech 3 Yamaha star went on to duel it out with record-breaking multiple world champion Valentino Rossi for fourth place the following day before front tyre problems forced him to make an unscheduled pit-stop and left him an unrepresentative 14th at the chequered flag.
After such a heroic effort, to be denied what would likely have been his finest premier class finish to-date was cruel in the extreme, but having made use of the subsequent days to step-up his training regime in a bid to return to 100 per cent fitness in time for Mugello, Crutchlow is now eagerly anticipating the challenge of one of the most popular, picturesque and spectacular circuits on the calendar – representing the ultimate test of both man and machine.
“I was disappointed last weekend at Assen because I'm sure I could have got my best MotoGP result,” reflected the 25-year-old Brit, having now slipped to just 14th in the points standings, “but I'm determined to make up for it with a strong performance at Mugello. After all the effort I put in to ride, it was a pity not to finish where I should have done, but I can't change what happened and now my focus is solely on doing the best job I can at Mugello.
“It is another new track for me again and it is going to be very difficult, but I've done a decent job at the other tracks I'd never seen before this year, so I'm confident I can be competitive. It looks very technical with lots of different challenges, but I'm up for it!”