Cal Crutchlow's plan to get the second-half of his rookie MotoGP season off to a good start came to an abrupt end during the Czech Republic Grand Prix after he suffering another costly crash.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider came to Brno with an eye on halting a disappointing run of recent form, but while he was enjoying one of his better races of the season having cracked the top ten, he came down at turn one on lap seven.
Marking his third retirement in five races, Crutchlow was frustrated to be reflecting on another DNF, conceding he is struggling to get confidence with the front-end on the M1.
“Nobody is more disappointed than me with what happened because another crash is the last thing I needed. I am currently having a difficult run of races but all I can do is get my head down, work hard with my crew and try and put things right in the future.
“At the moment I am struggling with grip in the front-end and we seem to have been going round in circles a little bit to find a solution. Today I was off brake and accelerating at the first corner when I lost the front. The last person who wants to crash is me, but I can only do my best. I am sorry to my Team and Yamaha but I am sure they realise that I am trying as hard as I can to get a good result.
“We've got a test now and that is important because we can work on the bike without the time constraints of practice. We can dedicate all our time to trying to give me some confidence back in the front. I still believe in myself and I am determined to get a good result in Indianapolis.”
Indeed, Crutchlow's patchy form is beginning to attract the ire from team manager Herve Poncharal, who is concerned with the direction his rider's season is progressing.
“I always try to understand, support and help, but he doesn't feel confident with the front for some reas on. Part of this game is to adapt yourself and the riding style to the bike you have and we are crashing too much. And not finishing the races, I don't think that this is the way to learn in your rookie year.
“I don't want to blame anybody, but we need to be positive and think what we can do to help him in the future races. We know what he is capable of after the way he started the season so strongly, so we need to get back to that level of performance and hopefully it will come soon, starting at the next race in Indianapolis.”