31 August 2015
MotoGP Silverstone: Crutchlow: I wasn’t angry, just disappointed
“At the time I got hit, I thought 'please don't be Jack!' I didn't want it to be him – if it was someone else, I could have scrapped with him in the gravel!” – Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow took his more than unfortunate exit from the British MotoGP race with good grace as he refused to castigate team-mate Jack Miller, who was clearly at fault for taking him down.
Both LCR Honda riders were enjoying inspired races in treacherous conditions, with Crutchlow claiming he felt “untouchable” as he climbed from eighth on the grid to fifth by lap two, a place ahead of the Australian.
A lap later however, and both riders were seen running to their bikes in the gravel traps at Vale after Miller made a huge mistake on the brakes and collected his more experienced team-mate.
Crutchlow claimed Miller had been 1.6 seconds in arrears before the class rookie got his braking wrong but refused to criticise his team-mate, even though it was painfully apparent a good result at his home grand prix was within reach.
“I wasn't angry, just disappointed,” said Crutchlow, in surprisingly high spirits in his team's hospitality. “I wasn't angry with Jack though – it was a racing incident and I've done it before and I'm sure I'll do it again. I was more angry at Aleix [Espargaro] when he did it to me than I was with Jack, even though I felt like I could have got a good result today.
“It's easy to say that, but I had a great feeling when I got taken out, and I had a great feeling on the bike this morning. This is racing though. It would have been nice to have a good result here, because both the team and myself deserve it.
“Feeling that good is a rarity, but there's some races where you feel untouchable, and that was one of them. At the time, I was cruising around wondering why they were going so slow, even though we were all right at the limit. I felt like I had a little in the tank and thought that I could have gone with the other guys – and that was always the plan.”
When asked to reveal his feelings when Miller passed him for the first time early on, Crutchlow admitted he regretted not telling the 20-year to follow him while he found his feet in the murky conditions.
“He passed me earlier on in the race as well and I passed him back thinking to myself that normally people who tap the seat unit and say 'follow me' are complete clowns – because they have just as much right as me to be there - but I thought about it then just to tell him to take it a little bit easier. I didn't do it though, and the next thing I know he's plowed into me.
“When he came past in the early stages, I thought 'I'm in a good position and he's made up a lot of ground – there is no way he's going to finish the lap' – and there was only two corners left on the lap! I passed him back, to see if he could keep going on – but at that point he must have passed everyone I had passed too!
“I'd already taken a good bit of time out of him when we'd crashed, but he made up 1.6 seconds in one braking point! He was a long way back.”
Pressed further, Crutchlow refused to be drawn into criticism and instead joked that he would have preferred another rider to have hit him as then he would have been justified having a scrap.
“At the time I got hit, I thought 'please don't be Jack.' I didn't want it to be him – if it was someone else, I could have scrapped with him in the gravel! Jack's a likeable guy, he didn't mean to do it, and he didn't want to take himself out of the race either. There was one point when he hit me though that I thought that I was going to crash and he wasn't, so I was trying to lean on him to make sure he went down as well [laughs].”
Soon after Crutchlow remounted he pitted and changed to his spare bike but soon fell victim at the Maggotts/Becketts complex as the bike was fitted with dry settings.
“I took the spare bike and went, though, because it was still the first three laps of the race and you're able to, so I came in, took the bike, and literally did five seconds on it before I crashed. When I let off the bike, it was on a dry setting, and it didn't do anything – it kept accelerating like a normal dry engine-braking map does.”
The 29-year old went on to joke that he and Miller had previously bet on the outcome of the Moto2 race. However, as the outcome was in Miller's favour, the Australian wouldn't be able to count on receiving his winnings.
“I will tell you the best story of the day though. I had a bet with him on the result of the Moto2 race, and he won because he had Zarco and I had Rins. It was for €100, and I never said anything – I just texted him after the race 'f**k you, I'm not paying you now!' He told me that he daren't ask for it anyway [laughs].”
The result sees Crutchlow slip to tenth in the championship as podium finisher Danilo Petrucci leapfrogged him to sit eighth.
Miller later received one penalty point from Race Direction for the incident with Crutchlow.
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