Sunday's British MotoGP was highlighted by some fierce battles among the pack fighting for second place, behind the out-of-reach Maverick Vinales.

Home star Cal Crutchlow was in the thick of that action, repeatedly swapping the runner-up spot with world championship leader Marc Marquez in the closing stages - until Marquez clipped the LCR Honda rider at the end of the Hangar Straight on the penultimate lap.

While Crutchlow kept control, Marquez ran wide and rejoined the track in fifth, later gaining one place by the chequered flag.

"Yeah, there was contact. He hit me at 200mph!" Crutchlow said. "Marc didn't mean to do it; I shut off and he was still accelerating. The speed that he hit me in the leg... The wing hit me. It dead-legged me. And then it pushed me wide and I thought, 'I have to make this corner' because that was the move for second.

"I think it was a fair fight between us. At the end of the day I'm never one to complain about people's manoeuvres. I've done them before and I'll do them again.

"We actually hit each other in the straight as well, where I got the run on him and he was wheelieing - typical Honda - and we couldn't keep a straight line so we were veering towards each other!

"I think it was a fair fight from everyone today though, from what I saw."

That 'fair fight' verdict included a previous incident with Valentino Rossi, where Crutchlow tried to hold on around the outside.

"I told Vale - and this is no joke - I felt his fork leg or his wheel hit my head in Turn 13," said the Englishman. "But I wasn't willing to give it up. He was already alongside me and I thought 'if I give it up it's going to screw me for the next left, and then someone else will go past as well'.

"So I thought I'd just stay there and try and get him back on the next left. But in the end I felt my head on something and I thought, 'I need to pick the bike up a little bit here!'

"But the funniest thing of the race was when I had a moment out of Turn 16. I nearly highsided and I was watching myself on the big screen at the exact time I was twisting the throttle. I thought, 'f**k that doesn't look right'!"

Three podiums in four races means Crutchlow has moved up to eighth in the world championship standings.

By Peter McLaren

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