A problem with the front brake disc nearly saw Cal Crutchlow prematurely exit the MotoGP action at Indianapolis on Sunday and limited him to a eighth placed finish.

Starting from the front of the second row - his joint best grid position of the year - Crutchlow was running without a cover for the disc and found, much to his dismay, that the brake wasn't functioning to its best ability when he arrived to turns one and two.

"It was difficult," said the 29-year old. "I made a not too bad start into the first corner, not the perfect start, but it was ok. Into turn two I had no heat in the brakes. I didn't really press the brake a lot into turn one because you're approaching it at such a high speed. We ran with the 340 discs here with no cover so there was not so much heat in there from the start.

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"I had not enough heat and I nearly went into the side of Bradley [Smith]. Sorry to him for that because it would have been a British pile up at the first corner. I dropped down to 13th and it was difficult to make my way back through.

"I did some good lap times but made two mistakes around the track. I lost two to three seconds on two of the laps and that was enough to not be in that group with Bradley and [Andrea] Iannone. We always knew it was going to be a difficult weekend. We have to go to Brno and look forward to that now."

Asked whether the braking issue stemmed from warming them insufficiently on the warm-up lap, Crutchlow said he should have pressed them harder into turn one after a half minute wait on the line.

"Honestly on the warm-up lap it felt fine but we sat on the grid for the 20 or 30 seconds. When I went in to turn one I never really braked because you come in from the slower speed. I braked a little but not at the pressure you usually do. Turn two is one of those corners where you are quite hard on the brakes because it's such a short corner.

"When I initially grabbed the brake I didn't have any brake performance. After it came so I managed to make the corner but it was a hairy moment with Bradley there. Completely my own fault. I should have pressed the brake harder into turn one. Turn two is one of them corners that is tight. Normally there's a little bit of mayhem but no one went down and we were pleased to finish the race to be honest."

Eleventh at the end of lap one, Crutchlow set about making his way through the field. By the tenth lap he was seventh, having disposed with Scott Redding, the Pramac Ducatis and Pol Espargaro.

As Iannone and Smith sat over two seconds ahead Crutchlow seemed determined to reel them in until a mistake at turn ten disrupted his flow midrace.

"I was really in a good rhythm then. I locked the front going into turn ten once. I locked the front, released the brake and then when I re-braked I picked the rear wheel up and went straight. I lost two and a half seconds, ran off the track and lost a position. I came back into the rhythm again but Pol seemed to be able to follow but he couldn't go to the next group. It was difficult to come across that gap again and I had no rear tyre left because I had been pushing so hard from the start to make up from 13th to seventh.

"Honestly it was just too difficult to come back across. I don't really know what happened with Pol on the second to last lap. We were level on the straight and he just completely swerved into the side of me. I did the last two laps two or three seconds too slow because I thought he had cut the brake line. I had no brakes. He hit me hard, no doubt about that, for no reason. It was one of those things. We have to go to Brno, regroup and see what we can do there."

To his credit, Crutchlow refused to make too big a deal of the move with Espargaro, for which the Spaniard later apologised.

"I don't really know why he did it. We were both side by side. I think he was trying to defend a little bit and squeeze me so I couldn't pass him on the inside. He really swerved in the middle of the straight for no apparent reason to be honest. That's racing. I gave as good as what I get. Most of the other guys do as well. I look forward to having more battles at the next races."