Cal Crutchlow revealed he made his hard tyre choice with a last-gasp roll of the dice on the grid at Brno, after initially opting for the soft/soft Michelin combination.
Crutchlow's late call ultimately paved the way for his debut victory in MotoGP in the Czech Republic as he sealed the win by more than seven-seconds from Valentino Rossi. The Italian also chose the hard rear, and suffered in the early stages, but paired it with the soft front.
“I made the decision on the grid. I went to the grid with soft/soft and I said, 'OK, I really do believe the hard rear tyre will last the race'. We saw from this morning it was quite wet and it was borderline whether it would be the best decision,” said Crutchlow, who became the first British winner of a premier class race since Barry Sheene in 1981.
“I then said, if I go with the hard rear, I also have to go with the hard front. I took the decision literally as soon as I arrived on the grid, and then I went to the toilet!
“I believed with the track conditions the hard front would be OK. I was more concerned for the rear and the rear was the worst part because it was really difficult on the first five laps at the first left-hand corner, going in and out.
“It was quite dangerous and I nearly crashed a couple of times. I could see that Vale was struggling as well in exactly the same area,” he added.
Crutchlow said his only real concern was over whether it would begin to rain again during the race as he mulled the prospect of a flag-to-flag bike swap race.
“After four or five laps I thought it could be a flag-to-flag race because turn 1 was already drying going in,” he said.
“Even though I chose the hard/hard my only risk was that it might start raining again and I didn't believe it would. I also thought after 10 laps that I could be in a good position coming into the pits – I didn't think anyone would be 10 seconds ahead, which they weren't, so my only risk was the rain really, but I did think it would dry quicker than it did.”
Crutchlow was one of five rider to choose the hard rear (alongside Rossi, Lorenzo, Baz and Rabat) and one of only three to fit teh hard front (with Baz and Rabat). Baz finished fourth and Rabat tenth.