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'Rubbin’s Racin’' for Marquez, Crutchlow
3 July 2013
The final lap of Saturdays Dutch TT saw a close moment for Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow heading into turn one.
Battling over second place, Marquez appeared to slow more than usual as he turned into the apex.
Crutchlow took evasive action, but still brushed the back wheel of the Repsol Honda rookie ahead of him.
Both were able to continue, although the time lost for Crutchlow ended any chance of claiming the runner-up spot.
“I braked late at turn one, but I stopped the bike a lot and when I felt he touched me a bit I thought 'Oh! Cal is pushing!'” grinned Marquez. “It is nice, no? It is part of racing. Normally I am the guy who is attacking, but today I was defending the position.”
Making reference to the near miss between Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa at the previous Barcelona round, Crutchlow joked: “I wanted Marc to see after the race on television what Dani's sees every race! When Dani watches the TV back he must think 'this guy is crazy'. I wanted Marc to see the same thing!”
Asked to explain the Assen incident, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow smiled: “It was his fault! Completely! No… I never wanted to pass him. I just wanted to brake in the usual place, but Marc had some problem with his arm and I could see - his hand braked for such a long time and I don't think he realised how much he stopped the bike.
“I arrived so fast - which is a Yamaha positive, straight-line braking is very similar but we can turn-in the bike fast - so I went to turn-in and Marc was stopped in the middle of the corner.
“It maybe wasn't as close as Marc and Dani in Barcelona - or maybe it was because we actually touched! I think racing like that is fun. I think everybody wants to see it. I'm sure if it ended in a different way, we'd feel different, but it's one of those things.”
Crutchlow began the race from his first ever MotoGP pole, but again struggled in the early laps. Crutchlow was even passed by Yamaha's injured world champion Jorge Lorenzo, riding just two days after breaking his collarbone, and took until lap 15 of 26 to re-pass the Spaniard for fourth place.
“It's again too little, too late for us,” Crutchlow said of his late charge to challenge Marquez for second. “I had a big wheelie off the start and was heading for the grass and then for the first five laps I couldn't get heat into the tyre and with a full fuel tank I couldn't turn or stop the bike.
“When Jorge passed me, I'd just run wide. I thought, 'Oh my god, this is going to be embarrassing!' But I had to be careful with him. I didn't want to knock him off or anything like that. I had to pass him in a reasonable way. I tried once and made a bit of a mistake. I thought 'this is a bit too cautious'. So I lost a few laps there.
“But an incredible race by Valentino. It's great to see him back up there. And for Lorenzo to salvage some points for his championship with a broken collarbone is good. I'm not so pleased for Marc because he finished second ahead of him!”
Race winner Marquez and top satellite rider Crutchlow remain third and fourth in the world championship standings, after 7 of 18 rounds.
Crutchlow will be back on track later this week, during the debut MotoGP test at the new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina.