British Grand Prix hope Cal Crutchlow said he was brought back down to earth with a bump following his maiden MotoGP victory at Brno after resuming nappy-changing duties.
Crutchlow recently became a father to a baby girl, Willow, with wife Lucy and says the responsibility has given him extra pace on the track rather than trimming a few tenths off his lap times.
The Coventry man became the first rider since Barry Sheene to win a premier class race after his victory in mixed conditions at Brno but Crutchlow has had little time to celebrate ahead of his home round of the championship this weekend at Silverstone.
“I think it has sunk in, sure. I came straight back down to reality when I had to get home and change a nappy and feed the baby! There was no party or anything and obviously we had the test the next day in Brno, so there was no time to celebrate with the team either then,” he said.
“I got home and spent some time with Lucy and Willow and with some friends, did some cycling and then turned up here at Silverstone to quite a lot of chaos that we caused with the Brno win. There's a lot of people coming this weekend and it's fantastic for the British crowd here at Silverstone, for us as riders and for the championship. I think a lot of people are looking forward to this weekend's race.”
Assessing his prospects on Sunday, Crutchlow says he has never enjoyed the best of luck at Silverstone in MotoGP but has vowed to give his maximum effort as always.
“I've had some tough luck here or I've created my own bad luck. I don't particularly like the circuit layout, but they put on a fantastic event and we always push to the maximum, but over the years it hasn't went so well for me here. Last year, Jack [Miller] decided to lie on top of me after five laps or so but hopefully this weekend we can have a good weekend and everyone can a competitive weekend.
“I think now in the championship there's some guys that can be really competitive in both the dry and the rain and honestly speaking I really hope it's dry,” said Crutchlow.
“Everyone thinks that now I've won a mixed conditions race I want it to rain every weekend but honestly I never want it to rain for any session. We'll give it 100 per-cent on Sunday and again next weekend [at Misano] and I'm obviously looking forward to it in front of my home fans with the LCR Honda.
“[My wife and daughter] are here but not in the press conference because she's pushing the baby around and she's sleeping. It's nice to have them here and everyone thinks that suddenly you don't focus much when you have a child but since I've had a kid I've gone faster than ever,” he said.
“It's great and they'll be watching. She likes the bikes; as soon as she hears the bikes she stops and is looking around so that's a good thing when you have a dad who's a motorcycle racer.”
Acceleration has been cited as the main issue for the factory Repsol Honda riders and while Crutchlow acknowledges the issue, he is of the opinion that corner entry poses a bigger problem for him personally.
“From my point of view, sure we struggle a little bit with acceleration, but that probably isn't my main problem – my main problem is the corner entry, due to the lack of acceleration from the corner before. This is probably why you see quite a lot of mistakes on the corner entry this year,” Crutchlow explained.
“I have exactly the same feeling as Marc [Marquez] – you can't go into a race weekend thinking already that it's going to be bad, you have to go in thinking positive. Sure, there are more rolling corners here onto straights from corner to corner than somewhere really hard on acceleration maybe like Misano, but I'm looking forward to the weekend and I was already planning to give as much power as we can give and see where we come at the end of the straights.”
Asked during the pre-race press conference why British riders have not been as successful in MotoGP as they are in Superbikes and also quizzed on who he felt was the best British rider over the past 20 years, Crutchlow mulled over the questions for a few moments before giving his response.
“I have no idea on either. I think the Superbike thing is because they don't get given the opportunity to be in Grands Prix as much as the other nationalities and our domestic championships are more Superbike-based than the others. Honestly I think the weather and conditions [play a part]. We don't learn the craft as much and it's quite difficult when we go to a really hot circuit because over here you never have the weather,” he said.
“With the best British rider in the past 20 years, I have no idea – you'll have to look at the statistics because I never do. I don't know – no idea. I can't name you them all, but all I know is that I give 100 per-cent, not to be the best British rider, but to try and beat everyone here and everyone else on the grid. I feel that I've put a lot in over the last 15 years of racing but I wouldn't say I'm the best though, there's not doubt about that, but I would say I'm up there. Look at the statistics and we'll see!”