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MotoGP Assen: Group battle slows and frustrates Crutchlow

Cal Crutchlow was relieved to end his run of three straight non-scores but was frustrated by the frantic battle for fifth
Although Cal Crutchlow ended his three race run without scoring points, he was 'not pleased' with a sixth place finish as he believed he had the pace to finish just off the podium.

Fast from the start, Crutchlow was embroiled in a race-long scrap for fifth place that included eight riders.

While Andrea Iannone pulled clear in fourth, Crutchlow was repeatedly frustrated by incessant overtaking as he tried to bridge the gap to the leading Ducati man.

Eventually crossing the line 24 seconds down on the race winner, Crutchlow stated he was pleased to post points on the board for the first time since Jerez at the start of May despite finishing a considerable amount in arrears of the race winner.

“I'm not pleased,” said the 29-year old. “We shouldn't be 24 seconds off the winner for a start. But honestly my bike was too slow. I had no acceleration and I kept getting passed by Dovi into turn six because of the speed. I coulnd't make the break. Every time I went to go they were gaining three or four tenths on the straight on me.

“It isn't apparent in practice or qualifying but it is when you're riding with the other guys. On my data with Dani and Marc we were losing two tenths compared to the Ducati. I was losing a lot. Every time you passed them into the last chicane they'd pass me back on the start and finish straight. It was a good battle. I needed to finish the race first and foremost. I've had three non finishes. When I was in that battle I was constantly thinking, 'I need to finish.'

“If I would have been fourth on the first lap that's where I would have finished. I don't think I would have gone away with Lorenzo but in the gap with Iannone. If I got there on the first lap. Honestly we had a better pace than that when I was riding alone. It's so easy to follow here. You're cruising around. Then when you're in front you can't go because someone has passed you immediately. That was the difficult thing.

“Honestly of course I'm pleased with a top six and to have finished the race. I'm not pleased to be 20 seconds back of the winner. But I was ahead of one of my 'Factory' guys.”

Crutchlow admitted a change of electronics strategy deprived him of acceleration out of the slower corners, meaning he could only pass Aleix Espargaro's Suzuki along Assen's two sizable straights. It is, he said, something his crew needs to look at ahead of the next round in Germany.

“We lost ten seconds battling with each other. We lost three seconds on the first lap. Then you give them half a second a lap. Marc was that fast because Vale was. Dani wasn't that fast. I couldn't get away, it's as simple as that. I didn't make a bad start. The only bike I could get near to was the Suzuki. It was on all the acceleration.

“We need to look at the electronic strategy and something else on the bike because I was running something different this weekend. For some reason I was not accelerating the way the other two Honda riders. A little bit the electronics. We need to investigate more into it and then make a decision. In Sachsenring I will push and I expect it to be a good race for us and a lot closer to the front there. I think we did a good job.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, Dovizioso Dutch MotoGP 2015
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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June 28, 2015 9:52 AM

"I'd have won it had everyone else fell off, but they didnt so I didnt. I had the pace to lap all the other riders, just got held up by people not letting me concentrate on lapping quickly. Why they cant see I'm a faster rider and just follow me I could have dragged them all to the front and could have faught with Rossi for the win. C*$ts.."

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