15 September 2014
MotoGP Misano: Crutchlow 'We were too far away'
“We were too slow in the race. I made way too many mistakes and we finished way to far back from my team-mate” - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow's final Italian race for the home Ducati team ended with a forgettable ninth place finish at Misano on Sunday.
The Englishman began the race from 13th after technical problems in qualifying, then spent the middle stages in a battle with Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) and Aleix Espargaro (Forward Yamaha).
Espargaro fell on the final lap, leaving Crutchlow to cross the line two-seconds behind Bautista. However team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was over 30-seconds ahead in fourth, with Pramac's Andrea Iannone 25-seconds clear in fifth.
“I'm disappointed with the result,” Crutchlow began. “We were too slow in the race. I made way too many mistakes and we finished way to far back from my team-mate. It's as simple as that. I don't understand how he's going so fast or how he is so close to the podium. Also Iannone, we finished too far behind him.
“I was pleased to be battling with Bautista and Aleix Espargaro, because they have been close to the podium this year, but at this race they were not so strong. So I still had fight in me and made some good passes, but we just never got going at the start of the race.
“I couldn't brake with a full fuel tank and ran off track a few times. Also in the middle of the race. Then the tyre spun on the rim and I had some big vibrations so I slowed down for two laps and lost another four or five seconds.
“We were just going too slow for most of the race, which we need to improve for Aragon. Again we didn't understand the track conditions quickly enough in practice and how the bike would react. I know we tested here, but it made no real difference to be honest. We were a lot slower in the test, while Dovi was very similar.”
With Crutchlow departing for LCR Honda next year, the latest Ducati developments are being prioritised for other riders but that doesn't explain the size of the gap.
“If I knew the answer I'd be closer to Dovi,” Crutchlow said. “To go quicker you open the gas earlier, brake later and go around the corner faster. But it's not as simple as that. I can look at Dovi's data all day long, but it doesn't make me go faster.
“Sure we're losing three or four tenths per lap just on the straights, which is fine, my bike is fast enough. It is just not as fast as Dovi, Iannone or Hernandez's at the moment. We have a little bit different things, but that's not making me be one-second a lap too slow. I can tell you that.
“It's contributing but a lot of things contributed to the result this weekend. If we had started two rows in front we could have got away with the guys ahead. So it was one of those races again. I was pleased to battle and finish in the top ten, but we are too far away.”
Crutchlow admitted that his confidence has taken a knock this season, but insists he can put the problems behind him for a fresh start at LCR.
“I'm too far away from my team-mate and you always worry why, because even when Dovi was slow last year, he was still close to his team-mate. You have to think positive and I know you don't forget how to ride overnight," said Crutchlow, who claimed six podiums and two poles at Tech 3 Yamaha.
“Look at Vale, he's come back and won races. You always remember how to ride a bike, but of course things go through your head when you are not fast enough. But 2011 was worse for me and I came back strong at the start of 2012.”
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