4 April 2016
MotoGP Argentina: Crutchlow: I should've been on the podium
'I know it's easier said than done and I didn't do it, but it was there for the taking and my pace was faster than most of the guys that didn't finish' - Cal Crutchlow.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow has yet to score any MotoGP World Championship points after the opening two rounds in 2016, but the LCR Honda rider is more than happy with how he is riding this season.
Crutchlow came off twice in Sunday's incident-filled Argentina MotoGP to register a second successive DNF, but feels he had the pace to finish on the rostrum.
The 30-year-old takes full responsibility for his errors at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and remains confident the results will start to come after a difficult start to the new campaign.
“We came here to finish on the podium, I had the pace to finish on the podium, but I didn't - it's as simple as that,” Crutchlow said.
“I made two mistakes and in the first one after the first lap I braked behind [Jorge] Lorenzo into turn one and I'd made up a couple of places. I clipped him with my shoulder and it forced me onto the water and I crashed. Aleix [Espargaro], who was directly behind me, followed me into the corner and crashed also.
“I was really lucky with that crash because I was already on the floor and his bike just missed me by an inch. I got back up, got back on the bike – the bike was bent – but I had a reasonable pace that was still good enough to be competitive in that front group at the start, I believe, maybe just off the back of that front group,” he added.
“When I changed bike I had no reference, no nothing and I pushed as hard as possible, but I kept getting slower riders in front of me and they were holding me up, so my lap times I felt would also be faster if I didn't have the traffic.
“It was quite difficult to pass in some places because you had to go off line onto the wet to pass. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.”
Reflecting on his second spill, Crutchlow held his hands up and said he touched the white line on the inside of turn three.
“The second crash, I caught Brad [Bradley Smith] like he was stood still, passed him and I must have pulled 10 seconds on him from the pit stop. I went into turn three and hit the white line on the inside of the corner, the same as [Andrea] Iannone in Qatar – I just touched the white line and down I went and there's absolutely no-one to blame but myself.
“Two grand prix gone and no points whereas I could've had two top five finishes and one podium today I feel; I know it's easier said than done and I didn't do it, but it was there for the taking and my pace was faster than most of the guys that didn't finish.
“It wasn't as fast as Marc [Marquez] or Iannone Iannone or [Andrea] Dovi, but it was around Valentino's [Rossi] pace and these guys ended on the podium. If you get away with them, you ride to the pace of the group and I honestly felt I could've done a good race today. I don't think I could've gone with Marc necessarily, but maybe I could've gone with the Ducatis.
“I'm disappointed but we can take some positives with it that we were fast enough, but I had a really bad front tyre feeling, so we have to work on that,” added Crutchlow.
“We can a lot of data from it and where I was losing time was sector one because I was afraid to hit the water again, so I was cruising in sector one and pushing in other places.”
Crutchlow remains satisfied with his pace on the RC213V and although he has yet to pick up any points, he says his LCR team and Honda are happy with his efforts so far.
“People want to see results and at the moment we've got none, but my team are happy with the way that we've rode in the last two races and also Honda are very happy.
“Dani's [Pedrosa] finished on the podium doing way over a second a lap slower than what I was doing, but that's the way it is.
“Marc's obviously special and we know this. It's more difficult than what it looks and I know he's leading the championship, but I'm riding well and I just haven't finished the races, it's as simple as that.
“Dani's also a special rider and he comes strong in different races and maybe in Texas he'll be really strong again, it's difficult to manage in the moment but they are doing a lot of work behind the scenes,” said Crutchlow.
“We have a lot of engineers here this weekend and we'll also have [them] in Texas.”
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