9 November 2014
MotoGP Valencia: Crutchlow: Never write me off
“I was happy with the team because they never gave up on me and it was quite demanding at time. I learnt a lot and I learned that people shouldn't write me off" - Cal Crutchlow
Britain's Cal Crutchlow says people should 'never write me off' after the Ducati rider finished the season with a strong result in the Valencia MotoGP.
Crutchlow was having his final race for the Italian manufacturer and finished fifth behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso after a race-long battle.
At times this season Crutchlow said he felt physically and mentally weakened by his struggles to be competitive on the Desmosedici, but the former World Supersport champion believes he turned things around in the end.
“I've learnt that the physical recovery of the body is good and to be a little bit more mentally strong because there was a point in the season when I was quite weak, mentally, physically and emotionally; I was not in the best place,” Crutchlow said.
“I managed to turn it around and I always said that one good session, one good lap, one good qualifying would bring back the confidence with the bike because I had it at the first round at Qatar, I just didn't have it afterwards because I crashed in Texas.
“I was happy with the team because they never gave up on me and it was quite demanding at times and I learnt a lot and I learned that people shouldn't write me off,” he added.
Crutchlow, set to join LCR Honda for 2015, said he would still make the same decision if he hadn't already committed to the team after watching the Ducati improve, particularly in the second part of the season.
“I would still take the same decision because it's my career and Ducati took a different decision to what I proposed to them, they took their two guys for another two years as such and I believe for my career that was my best option at the time,” he said.
“There was a point in the year me and Gigi [Dall'igna] were not working in the best way but in the last five races I began to understand him and how he works and I think this is the best for Ducati as well.
“Now I agree with it and he's doing a good job and you can see that from the results. As I said to him earlier I would really appreciate it if he would concentrate on World Superbikes next year because the Ducati next year is going to be back at the front and winning again soon in MotoGP!”
Turning his attention to his entertaining battle with Dovizioso, Crutchlow said he was far from 'pissed off' that he had failed to finish ahead of the Italian.
“I had a good battle with Dovi and we had some good fun. It was a strange race and I felt that in the dry conditions I had a bit better pace; I think we could've finished in the top six even in the full dry conditions but we took some small benefit with [Jorge] Lorenzo pitting, or whatever you want to call what Lorenzo did,” he said.
“I was pleased and obviously it showed that Ducati worked to the end with me because it was my last race and we were still pushing and I was closer to my team-mate than we had been all year. I'm pleased with the result and it's nice to be able to end the year on a high.
“You always want to beat your team-mate but I'm not pissed off at all. If [Andrea] Iannone had beat me I would've been pissed off but he never.
“To battle with Dovi is good and he has had a great season, he finished fifth in the championship for good reason and he's had some good podiums,” added Crutchlow.
“We've seen the speed of him and the Ducati all year so it's nice to still be using the old bike and being competitive.
“I never took any risks in the damp as such, we rode a good pace but not as fast as the front riders.
I was always conscious of finishing because I wanted to finish the last race with Ducati with a strong result because I hadn't finished the last three races before that.”
Crutchlow also feels the current rules relating to switching machines in the event of rain during a race represent the best scenario for riders.
“We went through it with the Safety Commission on what to do and what we have is the best situation because the rider makes the decision if it starts to rain and if you want to take the risk like Marc [Marquez] and Dani [Pedrosa] did in Aragon then you take the risk,” he said.
“It's a difficult situation because you don't know how hard to push but I don't think the rule should be changed. Unless there's a torrential downpour then that's when it becomes tricky but honestly the rule we have now is the best because there is no other way to do it.
“There was no point in the race when I thought I would come in and I didn't realise how wet it was until I had a few moments. The tarmac in some areas didn't really look that different but it was soaking wet so it was quite difficult assessing Turn 8 and the last corner, also all the kerbs were wet,” he added.
“If people started coming in then I probably would've been the one to take the risk this time because I had nothing to lose.”
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