26 August 2014
MotoGP: Crutchlow 'Love-hate relationship with Silverstone'
“I've had more visits to the Silverstone Medical Centre than you can imagine. The staff are really friendly and give you the best drugs!”
Cal Crutchlow's first priority for this weekend's British MotoGP will be to make it through Saturday without injury.
Crutchlow took a double win as a World Superbike rider a Silverstone in 2010, but his three home MotoGP visits while at Tech 3 Yamaha were all marred by heavy accidents.
The Englishman broke his collarbone in qualifying for the 2011 British Grand Prix, ruling him out of the event, then fractured his ankle in Saturday practice at the 2012 round.
However Crutchlow returned for the race, when he thrilled the home fans by charging from last to sixth.
But the Saturday jinx struck yet again in 2013 when Crutchlow fell twice in morning practice, the first at 185mph, leaving him with right arm damage. After rallying to a front row start in qualifying, Crutchlow suffered another fall in warm-up and finished seventh in the race.
“I've had more visits to the Silverstone Medical Centre over the years than you can imagine. But at least the staff are really friendly and they give you the best drugs!” Crutchlow smiled. “It's quite funny because I've had a love-hate relationship with Silverstone - some fantastic results and some bad results.
“I like the circuit and I love racing in front of the home crowd. It was difficult when I was the only guy who had the pressure,” he admitted. “It was tough. Coming home with the pressure to win is difficult. So I've passed it all onto Brad [Smith] this year! I've got no worries. I'm not the fastest guy out of the three of us who are more near the front.
“But I think it'll be really good. There are five really strong British riders that will put on a show and hopefully we'll all get equal support. I'm looking forward to it and I'm feeling optimistic.”
Crutchlow - just 14th in the world championship with a best finish of sixth - withdrew from the previous Brno round after hurting his shoulder while trying to keep control of his Ducati after running into the gravel.
“Sore,” replied Crutchlow, when asked about the shoulder. “To be honest I've had some problems with the shoulder before. I've got arthritis in it really bad and I keep delaying the operation to get it cleaned out, because it takes six weeks and I haven't got six weeks until the end of the year. Then at the end of the year it feels alright because I normally have an injection into it.
“It's one of those things. I hurt it trying to hold onto the bike not actually crashing [at Brno]. Maybe I'll have to have an injection before Silverstone, but otherwise it's okay.”
After re-joining the Brno race a distant last, Crutchlow continued for six laps before opting to retire. The 28-year-old admitted the incident in Texas, where he fractured his hand after pitting for a new rear tyre, was a major factor in the decision.
“There was just no point to carry on at Brno, because I was a minute and a half behind and after what happened in Texas, I'd already discussed with the team [what we would do] if that was ever to happen again,” he said.
“To go back out or continue when last time I broke my hand and then had to miss a race would be pointless. But I was definitely disappointed.”
Silverstone will be Crutchlow's only home appearance as a Factory Ducati rider, having already signed to move to LCR Honda in 2015.
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