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MotoGP San Marino: Fuming Crutchlow slams penalty process

'If they don't overturn it, I'll be ripping them a new one. It's not fair, honestly that's not fair because it's not as if I gained an advantage' - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow was left fuming after receiving a 1.5s post-race time penalty at Misano, which was later overturned.

The LCR Honda lost one position, dropping to ninth before being reinstated in eighth place following a review by the Stewards Panel.

Crutchlow received the penalty for cutting the chicane at Turn 1 but felt the initial decision was wrong, arguing that he made sure he never gained an unfair advantage.

Speaking before the decision was reversed, Crutchlow said: “Not happy. I got docked a position at the end for cutting the chicane. But first and foremost, I ran across turn one five times over the race, simply because sweat was on the inside of my visor and I couldn't see a thing from lap eight onwards. We normally have a sweat pad and it seemed to have not been in the right position and just dropped everywhere.

“I couldn't see anything for the 20 laps of the race. So this is essentially why we were dropping back. I went five times across turn one, three of those times I gained two tenths, two-and-a-half tenths, and one tenth in that sector. Then in the next sector I gave it back every single time. My best sector was a 20.9 in the second sector. Every time I gained the advantage was 21.4, which means I've given back and lost another two tenths, and they've docked me one and a half seconds at the end of the race,” he added.

“When I let five seconds go to Pol [Espargaro] at the end of the race, just to make sure he's behind me… he finished 1.45 seconds behind me. They dock me one-and-a-half seconds, I lose a position – absolutely ridiculous. And apparently we can't appeal it. It's ridiculous. It's the worst decision I think they could have made.”

Crutchlow argued his point to MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb and claimed he wasn't made aware of the penalty during the race.

“I said it's completely wrong. They can't not overturn it. I don't understand how they can't see that – we've gone up there with data, we've gone up there with sector times. We've gone up there with the thing that we have on the dash. It's plain to see. I can give you the laps. You can see it and you're a journalist,” he said.

“They were supposed to tell us in the race – they didn't tell us in the race. They never looked at the sectors, they just gave us a penalty. Now I've got docked back a place. If they don't overturn it, I'll be ripping them a new one. It's not fair, honestly that's not fair because it's not as if I gained an advantage because I didn't.”

Crutchlow also feels some of the out-of-bounds markings are pointless and suggests adding grass to the outside of the track will rule out the potential for riders running off the circuit.

“Just put grass and nobody will do it. The track limit in other circuits and areas is grass. I have to be honest, turn 16 we need a little something. We're trying to improve safety, but the last corner they put a red strip for no reason. That is there for no reason. If you go on that red strip, I'm telling you now, you gain nothing [compared to] if you don't go on the red strip – absolutely nothing. That is just there for no reason.

“If you go out of turn 16 and you go on the red you also don't gain an advantage because you're making a longer distance. I understand there has to be some sort of track limits but that last corner one is ridiculous. Six, you're going to gain an advantage if you go out and come back in. I understand that one. The last one is stupid, completely stupid as far as I'm concerned, but they make the rules, not me.”

Crutchlow was left to rue a missed opportunity for a possible top six finish due to the issues he was having with his helmet visor.

“You're always going to say that you would have done a lot better but honestly you saw how fast I caught Maverick [Vinales] and Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] in the race, and then as soon as I got to them it was impossible. I couldn't see anything because I was behind them. Then I couldn't see and I was running out for no reason because I just was missing the braking marker and then it got worse and worse and worse.

“I didn't have the feeling that I was able to push and take advantage. I felt that I was fast. I think without the problem with the visor I could have been maybe four-tenths faster over a lap every lap. I don't think it was going to win me the race but I think it would have put me where Maverick was [fifth],” he added.

“But I have to say I don't think there's a problem on my helmet, of the company, anything like that. I'm not blaming them. I think the sweat pad was in the wrong place, and then once it started to drip it just absolutely soaked the whole inside of the visor.”

The British rider was also struggling with an overheating front tyre after choosing the medium compound Michelin.

“We were struggling a lot with the front tire overheating. Dani [Pedrosa] used the soft. I used the medium. Marc [Marquez] used the hard. Dani was the one that won. But as we know, Dani rode fantastic – completely all credit to him. He did a great job all weekend.

“I knew from the lap times over the weekend he was potentially the guy to watch. I tried to go with him at the start and it was impossible. We were struggling with the front of our bike the whole weekend, and we never really fixed it particularly.

“We tried our best. Our bike was good in some areas, but essentially we were losing so much in sector three with that long straight I couldn't gain it back anywhere else because the front of the bike didn't feel that good this weekend with that front tire. With the warmer conditions, with the track greasy here, it was just not doing what we wanted it to do.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, San Marino MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Marquez, Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, sea, Australian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, sea, Australian MotoGP 2016

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September 12, 2016 8:50 AM

Cal reminds me of Stoner, we all know what they mean but it just doesn't come across right. He is claiming to have raced virtually blind, very demeaning to those that finished behind him. Much like after the race that he won.....he said that he ' played with them ' and ' just cruised around ' Great rider, funny, popular with the other riders.....not much good at interviews though.


September 11, 2016 7:55 PM

Glad it's been overturned! Definitely we could see he wasn’t warned about the penalty at all, and was already celebrating in parc ferme with his team as top independent rider, before it was even announced. It's never good to see that.

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