Cal Crutchlow's hopes of capitalising on the hard front tyre to fight for a podium in the closing stages of Sunday's Japanese MotoGP ended when he lost eight-seconds during an off track moment.

The Honda LCR rider was one of only two riders to choose the hard front tyre - Loris Baz was the other - safely navigating the early stages of the race, only to be caught out on lap 17 of 24.

The Englishman rejoined still holding sixth position, but the time lost meant he had no chance of challenging the likes of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) for what would late become second and third after a late fall for Jorge Lorenzo.

"It's just a shame I made a mistake and ran off the track in the middle of the race, because we were right there and then I lost eight seconds on one lap," Crutchlow confirmed.

"I ran the hard front tyre, which I believe was the correct choice, and I thought it was really possible to come back towards the end of the race, especially for Dovi. But then I made a mistake.

"It was my own fault, but I managed to stay on the bike as I went through the gravel, which was the main thing. This is racing. We still managed to finish in a strong position, but we are a bit disappointed as we could have battled for the podium today."

Crutchlow crossed the line in fifth place, five seconds ahead of nearest satellite rival Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha).

The Brno winner will start the final three rounds holding seventh in the world championship, eight-points behind Dovizioso and ten ahead of Espargaro.


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