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Crutchlow 'was expected to stay out'

"His tyre choice was the same as Colin, so I would have expected him to stay out" – Herve Poncharal.
For the second race in a row MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow pitted with front-end problems during Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, forcing him to abandon a solid points finish.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was part of an entertaining fight for sixth place when he decided that the front-end problems meant a risk of an accident on his freshly broken collarbone was too great.

Crutchlow left the race at the end of lap 6 and, unlike at Assen, didn't rejoin, although with all other (15) riders finishing, the Englishman would not have scored a point.

“Right from the first lap I didn't have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide. I just didn't want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits," said Crutchlow.

"I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I'd reached my limit."

Team manager Herve Poncharal said he expected Crutchlow to stay out.

“Our riders took the soft rear and hard front tyres. The start was not so bad and I think they were having a good race until Cal came into the pits," said the Frenchman.

"This is the second time in successive races that he has stopped and in Assen we could clearly see there was a problem. But his tyre choice was the same as Colin, so I would have expected him to stay out considering where he was in the race.

"And he needs experience of the bike and this track, so we'll put today behind us and hope to see him showing his true potential in Germany.

"Colin did not have the ideal set up because of the changing conditions and he still finished ninth and got some points and that is important, so he did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances."

Writing on his Twitter page (@calcrutchlow), Crutchlow defended his decision further:

"Really sorry to team and everyone for pulling in but when you are going to crash you have to sometimes be realistic. I had no feeling in front and was wide in every corner.

"The bike is just not working with hot track temperature but we knew this and it hasn't been fixed.

"All I can do is my best and we have to work from here. I've never pulled in in my career. I'm pissed off."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, Italian MotoGP Race 2011
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July 04, 2011 12:34 PM

Sorry but if you take the pay check then you do the job. I understand that Cal did not want to injure himself and do not wish him to do so. I do believe however he could have knocked it back a bit and still stayed on the race track. I am pretty sure he would have not finished last and thus picked up a couple of points. There are a lot of people who put a shed load of effort in to getting these guys on the grid, in effort, time and money. If he thought he could not do the job then he should have had the nerve to say so in advance, rather than come back too soon and a stand in rider, desperate for a chance, could have been out on the bike.


July 04, 2011 12:47 PM

I've admired Cal's efforts in MotoGP to date and I've always said that I think he'll justify his place here. But I have to be critical here, because I think there was a value to staying out there, even if at the back of the pack and not at full racing speed. To learn the track better, to learn the bike better, to understand better the setup issues, to please the sponsors etc etc. I realise the gambled setup was a disaster and clearly wasn't working, but if he's still so worried about the injury, perhaps it might have been better to stay away for longer and get fully healed up first? I know it's easy to be an armchair critic and CC is the one facing the risks, but it looks on the surface to be a decision based on the frustration of the moment. I hope he finds more confidence and better form again at the next round.

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