Cal Crutchlow's birthday weekend ended with the LCR Honda rider having suffered heavy blows to his hands, arms, foot and head at the Malaysian MotoGP.

The Englishman hurt his hands and arm, including a broken bone in his wrist, in a Saturday morning fall - but was nonetheless in contention for a possible third victory of the season in Sunday's wet race.

Part of the lead pack, world champion Marc Marquez and fellow RC213V rider Crutchlow both crashed in separate incidents on lap 12 of 19. They were a close fourth and fifth at the time, just behind eventual winner Andrea Dovizioso.

"I'm okay, just a bit sore," said Crutchlow, winner one week earlier at Phillip Island. "A bit light-headed. I feel like I've had a few beers! It was a massive crash. I lost the rear, off-gas, going into Turn 2.

"I'd had a couple of warnings, but nothing as big as that. It came around to the lock stop and gripped. I wish it had kept coming round and then I would have spun in a circle and it would have been no problem. The worst thing is the corner is downhill, so you land even further away.

"I felt okay on the bike [after yesterday's injuries]. Sure, I have a broken bone in my wrist that's painful, especially when I got up this morning. But I felt okay once the adrenaline got going. I gritted my teeth a bit and that's the way it is. It definitely hurt after this crash because the handlebar snapped that fast. My big toe is killing me now as well. I have to go for some scans when I get back.

"I'm disappointed but we have to go away from this part of the season quite happy. We've had a great run. We didn't want it to end and I definitely didn't want it to end with a headache. But I had a big face-plant. I landed completely on my face."

Like Marquez, Crutchlow had been trying to compensate for a lack of acceleration relative to the other riders in the front group.

"I had to try and make some time in different areas, because we were not gaining anything on acceleration and at that sort of time of the race the front tyre was starting to getting worn as well, because we'd been braking like animals to try and make some time," he explained.

"We needed it to stay full wet or dry faster and it was in the middle, in those greasy conditions, where you really struggle. But I think it was easy to see the evidence from TV - the acceleration and speed of mine and Marc's bike was not competitive today. But we tried out best and this was the outcome.

"I'm sorry to the team for crashing, but I was there challenging at the front of a MotoGP race again. All I can do is try but it didn't work out."

Crutchlow will start the Valencia season finale seventh in the world championship, 14 points behind the injured Dani Pedrosa and 17 ahead of satellite rival Pol Espargaro.

By Peter McLaren


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