Cal Crutchlow believes 2016, a year in which he scored four podium finishes and two race wins, should be viewed positively, in spite of crashing out of the final MotoGP race at Valencia.
The Englishman admitted he “didn't feel comfortable all weekend”, as the Honda RC213V struggled with acceleration on the exit of the track's low gear corners, while a foot injury sustained at Sepang was a niggle throughout.
Crutchlow chose Michelin's hard option front tyre for the 30-lap race, and found an issue that has at times hindered his campaign occurring again, leading to a fall on lap 17 when holding ninth place.
Even still, the 31-year old feels that he and the LCR Honda team can view 2017 with pride, considering the occasions when he challenged and defeated the factory Honda pairing.
“We've had four podiums. Two wins. One in the wet, one in the dry. We have to take a lot of positives from that because a lot of the other factory guys have only had one win,” said Crutchlow, who finished seventh in the final standings.
“I believe that we have to be positive. There have been a lot of races this year where I've been able to battle with the other factory guys. Looking at the other satellite bikes, they haven't battled with their factory guys. So we have to take credit for that on a package that I don't believe is good as the other satellite teams.
“We didn't want to finish the last two races with no points. The start of the season was bad. A lot of it wasn't our fault. The first four races I only had a few points from Jerez. If I just would have got points in them I would have been more competitive in the championship.
“It's nice to know that we can be more competitive. In the second half of the season when we started to close in on Dovi my aim was to beat him. I believe we could have done that if we didn't have problems in the start of the year.
“We have to be proud that I've been competitive at every race. At this race not so much but I didn't feel comfortable all weekend on the bike. But it's the same as a lot of other people at different races. To be able to get back up and be fast and be competitive is a credit to my team because we worked hard.”
On the race, he commented, “We're disappointed. I didn't feel comfortable all weekend. I felt in the race I had the pace for top six.
“But in the race it became very apparent that I couldn't push. I ran the harder new profile front tyre and it was just a disaster at the start of the race. I couldn't push to stay with the other guys. Once I settled into a rhythm I felt fine but I could only ride alone. I was making mistakes because I couldn't brake, I couldn't enter the corner. We were losing on acceleration as well. The time came when I needed to push. I saw the guys ahead were catching Dovi.
“Maybe we could have ended up there but I made a mistake going into the last corner and the front tyre was just way over pressure. It was more than what we ran all weekend. I had not feeling at the start. In the middle I was not so bad. But then I crashed going into the last corner.
“It's same old same old. Last year is the same as what we've said this year. We have to compensate so much for the lack of acceleration in the braking zone. When do you see Dani crash two times in a weekend? Nothing I can do about it now. I didn't want to finish the season like that but I'm proud of my season and proud of my team. We've had a good season with what we've had.”