Cal Crutchlow was satisfied with his performance in the final World Superbike round in Portugal, even if he admits the results weren't as strong as he was expecting.
Crutchlow had provided the star turn during the wet Superpole session, placing the wild-card HM Plant Honda on the front row of the grid alongside pole sitter Troy Bayliss.
He started well in the first race too, Crutchlow dicing with the frontrunners and running second in the early laps when he began to struggle with tyre issues. Plummeting down the order, Crutchlow eventually retired shortly before the end of the race with what turned out to be a delaminated rear tyre.
“I suffered a completely delaminated tyre in race one, others used that tyre and didn't have a problem, so why we had an issue is anyone's guess. I was lucky not to crash and had to pull out for safety reasons.”
Although tweaks for the second race helped Crutchlow maintain a more consistent pace, a problem with the tyre spinning on the rim consigned him to ninth. Still, while Crutchlow believes he missed out on the opportunity of better results, he was nonetheless pleased to have shown world class pace.
“Looking at the results we deserved so much more, really. In the second outing the tyre spun on the rim and then I had similar problems as in the first race. It's disappointing as we were capable of two podiums, but congratulations to Leon for the podium and to Troy Bayliss for leaving racing on such a high with two wins and the championship.
“I'm proud that I was up there battling with the World's best riders and I aim to be doing that in 2009 in the World Supersport Championship.”