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MotoGP Australia: Crutchlow plays down talk of ’17 title bid

In the wake of his second MotoGP victory, Cal Crutchlow admits a '17 title bid would be a 'big ask'; feels his form demonstrates he is deserving of more factory support.
While in arguably the form of his career, Cal Crutchlow has refused to get carried away, admitting that a 2017 title challenge would be “a big ask”, but feels his recent showings demonstrate he is worthy of receiving more factory support.

Crutchlow eased to his second MotoGP win in six races at Phillip Island, firstly through applying pressure to early leader Marc Marquez, before holding off a Valentino Rossi push with the minimum of fuss to come home four seconds clear.

The result was a continuation of Crutchlow's excellent form in the second half of 2016, boosted by a HRC new chassis from the Brno test and continual advancements with electronics, meaning that since the German Grand Prix in July, only Marquez has scored more points than the Englishman.

“At the moment, and with things the way we are and with what we get from Honda, I don't know if I can be a title contender,” said the 30-year old, now sixth overall in the world championship, and comfortably the best-placed 'Satellite' rider.

“It would be a big ask to be a title contender next year, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

“If I keep getting these good results then we can be, and while the results I'm getting at the minute are good enough for the bike we have, maybe one day I want to target the title. The problem is, these guys around me are fast – so it was nice to get one over on them.

“We can definitely improve, and even in the race on Sunday I could have improved in some areas. But I was in the rhythm and couldn't be arsed to try. I was riding comfortably, but I could have tried some things with the throttle or with the brake.

“But it's easier to try those things when you're in a battle, and out at the front on my own I didn't really want to push any buttons or do anything a little different.

“I still think I can improve as a rider – there are things that I could do better. Off the track, there are not many things I could improve – sure, maybe I could be a little more diplomatic sometimes, but for the things I do to prepare for a race, there's no one who puts in as much as me and my family.”

At Assen in June Crutchlow announced that he would stay with the LCR Honda squad for a third season in 2017.

While acknowledging that receiving a bike equal to the Repsol Honda squad throughout the year will be very unlikely, the Englishman feels that recent performances show his ability to consistently mix with the best the class has to offer.

“A factory bike isn't going to happen, and I'm happy with my team, but maybe I deserve more support from my factory. When I rode for Yamaha, I had good support from the factory and got offered a contract to stay again. We get good support, but I think they should be helping me more and LCR as a team more.

“It's disappointing to win a race and not see the boss at the press conference, because if you were in another factory they would be [here]. I know there are people there internally that really help me, and that there are people internally that don't like them for doing it.

“But that's racing, and it's a cutthroat business – and at the end of the day, it is a business. It's a sport and a business, but unfortunately they see it as just a business, a lot of them – and we have better emotion than them when we do win.”







Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Marquez at FIM Gala
Home town party for MotoGP champion Marquez
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016
Alex Marquez, Jerez Moto2/3 test, November 2016

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Oli

October 26, 2016 1:09 PM

Motojunky: Having said that, he should get a hit at a Respsol bike. Why give Hayden Dani's bike.
Cal couldn't replace Dani due to sponsorship issues - Repsol Honda are backed by Red Bull, Cal's personally backed by Monster. Hayden got Dani's ride for Phillip Island because Honda and Yamaha are still in a battle for the manufacturers and teams titles, and it was felt that Nicky was their best chance of some solid points. The alternative option was to give the bike to someone like Miller, who may have proven faster than Nicky on it, but was far more likely to throw it into the scenery. The irony of Miller taking Hayden out must therefore burn somewhat for HRC!

TrueFan

October 26, 2016 11:44 AM

I hope he doesn't get too much more diplomatic. The only way we have any idea what is really happening with these guys is when a few of them tell it straight, albeit through the lens of their very personal perspective. Stoner used to do it, Cal and Bradders are prepared to do it too. Marquez oscillates between giving insight and giving PR for his "brand", same with Rossi. Dani's too polite to say anything that might upset his masters, and Lorenzo does give decent insight, but it's sometimes tempered with a version of his reality.



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