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MotoGP Valencia: Crutchlow: If I get a fine, he'll be paying it

"If I get a fine I won't be paying it; he'll be paying it. I'll ram it down his throat" – Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow insisted it'll be Stefan Bradl who pays if the Englishman is judged to have broken the derogatory hand gestures rule, during Qualifying 1 at the Valencia MotoGP.

Crutchlow was forced to overtake Bradl and Aprilia team-mate Alvaro Bautista after catching the pair on the approach to Turn 2. Both appeared to have been waiting for a faster rider to follow, with Bradl looking behind and moving across to allow Crutchlow to pass.

But the LCR Honda rider insisted the speed difference and close proximity created a dangerous situation, and he duly ran wide after being forced to go to the right of Bradl and then left of Bautista.

Crutchlow made his anger clear with some gestures at the following turn, which allowed Jack Miller to pass the #35. But the double 2016 race winner was back ahead of the trio when all four pitted together at the end of the lap, when Crutchlow again showed his displeasure.

Asked on Saturday evening if he had received a 300 euro fine yet, Crutchlow replied:

"It won't come, because I'll just prove what idiots and clowns are. Three of them - and especially the German - it's a good job he's leaving because… f**king idiot. When someone is doing 200km/h and you look behind and are doing 60km/h sat on the racing line."

Crutchlow pointed to a much slower morning incident at the same place between Andrea Iannone and Yonny Hernandez, when the Italian hit the back of Colombian as they both checked the TV screen, to illustrate the danger.

"It's the same old thing. You saw what happened with Iannone and Hernandez earlier and they were doing 25-30km/h. So if he wants his back wrecked and slammed into Turn 2... He [Bradl] said it wasn't him apparently. But he's waiting on line every lap.

"Typical of all them that can't do the pace. They just sit around waiting and trying to get a lap time from somebody else. Do it on your own and you might be at the front in MotoGP. If I get a fine I won't be paying it; he'll be paying it. I'll ram it down his throat. I never did anything wrong anyway. I didn't swear at him, I just pointed at him a bit."

Responding to the comments, Bradl denied any wrongdoing and feels Crutchlow's criticism was unjustified.

Perhaps fired-up by the incident, Crutchlow returned to the track and promptly jumped from last to first on the timesheets, securing his place in Qualifying 2. But he fell during that session and, despite running through the gravel and trying to jump the tyre wall to get back to the pits as soon as possible, will start from eleventh on the grid.

The 31-year-old, who injured his foot last time at Sepang, stated:

"My foot was sore today when I decided to run to the tyre wall to try to get over it. I got halfway and I thought 'I'll clear that' and then my legs just sunk in the sand, so I just ran into it! The airbag had already gone off anyway. The foot's sore. It's broke. But it didn't stop me from running. I had no choice. Then some guy picked me on the scooter and we nearly had a head-on with two cars, honestly it was worse than riding the bike!

"We had the potential to be on the second row today," he continued. "I don't think I would have been on the front row. But I crashed on the out-lap, a cold front tyre, and that was it. I got back to the pits but the tyres were used and you're never going to go any faster. My Qualifying 1 time was [almost] good enough for seventh. We had some potential even in that time because I didn't push 100%, I just made sure I made it through to Q2. So I'm disappointed, but I have a better race pace."

Crutchlow - who starts the final round seventh in the world championship, with a 17-point advantage over next best satellite rider Pol Espargaro - revealed he will undergo surgery at the end of next week. But it won't be on his foot...

"I'm going to have an operation on my [middle] finger, straight after the end of the season. That's why I won't be testing at Jerez [at the end of the month]. I've just got some wear and tear, the joint is really thick and swollen. I don't brake with [my index finger], I brake with these [outside] three fingers. And all the years of stress on that finger, of taking the load, it's got arthritis in it. I've never broken it or hit it on the floor really hard. It's just worn.

"On the bike I'm okay but it's just going to get worse and worse. I'll have that operated on, on I think Friday. Then adios! I'm out to California for two months."

Crutchlow added that he had also been considering surgery on his knees.

"I was going to have both knees operated on because they are wrecked from years of running and cycling. Many things. But if you have your finger done and two knees, how am I going to pick up my kid? I'll probably have to just suck it up again for another year and see how it is next year.

"I have a couple of cysts in one knee, one on the inside and one on the outside. They pop in and out cycling and stuff like that and cause a bit of grief. I would like to clear that up but I don't really have time. That's the problem with racing a motorcycle. You think you stop, but you can't have too long off. Especially at my age; you start to get fat if you have too long off!"

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Cal Crutchlow

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