Cal Crutchlow has admitted that he would feel more secure heading into the final four meetings on the 2009 World Supersport Championship calendar with a 43-point advantage in the title chase rather than the 17-point lead he does have following his potentially costly Brno retirement - but he has vowed to keep pushing flat-out all the way to the end.

Crutchlow was dominating the most recent round on the calendar in the Czech Republic at the end of last month when his Yamaha SSP YZF R6 let him down just over a lap from the chequered flag - handing his chief rival for the crown, Parkalgar Honda ace Eugene Laverty, an instant get-out-of-jail-free card.

Had it not been for his misfortune, the former HM Plant Honda British Superbike Championship front-runner would practically have had one hand on the riders' trophy heading next to the N?rburgring in Germany at the beginning of September - but as it is the heat is still on.

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"I don't know what to say about it," Crutchlow reflected, speaking to Radio. "These things happen in racing, but all I know now is that I would have been 43 points ahead in the championship rather than 17, and I'm disappointed by that. It was devastating for me and my team; my boys were even more cut-up about it than me, because they thought it was their fault.

"Our bikes are good bikes and they never really break down, so it was just one of those unfortunate things, and it happened with just two laps to go when I had a 7.2-second lead and eleven seconds over Eugene. It was disappointing for me not to be able to take more points off Eugene when he was down. He was finished that weekend - he'd crashed three times - and he was riding round in sixth place in the race, and I never got to take full advantage when his morale was low. He would have gone to the next race in a much worse condition than he's going to now, because he's only 17 points behind.

"I had sheer pace at Brno ahead of everybody else, and I was completely in control of the race, just cruising round doing lap times that were half a second slower than what I could have been doing. I proved that in practice and qualifying, when I did a 2m02s flat after eleven laps on the tyres in qualifying. We knew what we were capable of doing and we didn't take any risks, so we're disappointed that we never got the result but we know that's how racing goes sometimes.

"I'm not saying if we'd won the race in Brno we would have had the championship won - it's not over until the last lap of the last race. People were saying 'you would have done it if you'd won the race', but I don't believe in that. I believe in just keeping working hard and taking it as it comes. Yes, I am thinking about the championship, but I just want to do my job. I want to win races and keep doing what I'm doing."

Winning races is something Crutchlow has proven himself to be more than adept at this season already, with four triumphs from ten starts to his credit. Even more notably still, the 23-year-old has set a staggering seven pole positions, lapping almost a full second out of reach of any of his rivals in Brno and more than half a second clear in front of his adoring partisan supporters at Donington Park a month earlier. He would not make it easy for himself on home turf, however...

"Donington for me was a fantastic experience," he underlined. "To win in front of my home crowd with all the people there was emotional, though I know I didn't make it easy for myself. I went there with a lot of pressure and I crashed on the first lap of practice; that was my own fault, but we were on a really hard rear tyre that I'd never previously used. I just made the stupid mistake of getting on the throttle too much, high-sided it and broke my ankle and tore ligaments on both sides.

"It was a difficult weekend from then on. I crashed the next day in qualifying because I couldn't go back through the gears fast enough with my ankle the way that it was; I went into the corner too hot and I hadn't gone back any gears and just crashed. The race was easier, but it was hard to keep concentration. I was in a comfort zone, but I like closer races and harder races where you have to concentrate a lot more. It's so easy to suffer a lapse when you're that far ahead and there's no-one really challenging you.

"I came away with the result I needed to, though. The pressure obviously got to Eugene there because he crashed in the race; he got back on and finished fifth and people say he rode fantastically to get fifth. He did ride very, very well, but he was two seconds a lap slower than what I was doing all race. I won the race comfortably by five-and-a-half seconds when I could have won it by a hell of a lot more if I'd needed to, but there was no point in pushing because Eugene wasn't up there, and he's the only one who's close to me in the title race. It's quite funny hearing people in the paddock, especially things like 'you should have won it by 18 seconds' - I don't need to win it by 18 seconds. I need to win it by one tenth, or whatever it takes to cross the line in front."

If moderation and restraint is something that Crutchlow has increasingly mastered as the 2009 WSS campaign has progressed, then one quality he has demonstrated right from the 'off' has been his ability to rapidly get to grips with circuits that are new to him. Misano back in June was just such a case in point, and also the scene of arguably the Coventry star's most famous duel with Laverty to-date. It helps, he acknowledges, that the two riders have a healthy respect for one another and get along away from the track to-boot.

"I've been to a lot of tracks this year that I'd never seen before, and we've gone fast straightaway," he affirmed. "It's nice to be able to do that and to know that I'm a fast learner, because I might have to continue learning tracks next year. I go out there and I try and push to the limit straightaway because that shows you how fast you can go, and then you sort of calm down from there and take it one step at a time. You've got to go fast straightaway, because otherwise you're wasting valuable set-up time.

"I went to Misano not really knowing what was going to happen, because everyone had an advantage over me there. It got close in the end. It was so easy to follow each other there, but when we got ahead of each other we couldn't do anything. We couldn't pull away or build an advantage, but it was close, clean racing and enjoyable for both of us.

"It's nice when we can finish the races and congratulate each other the way we do. It's quite funny actually, because normally the two closest rivals in the championship never speak to each other or have a real hatred for each other, whereas me and Eugene will sit and talk to each other off the track and once we get racing we know it's going to be close and we've got big respect for each other. We battle it out, but we both come away clean, happy and having enjoyed it, and that's a big part of racing - you have to enjoy what you're doing.

"I still believe it's going to be closer between now and the end of the season - I think the N?rburgring is going to be close and I also think Imola is going to be close, but I'm looking forward to it. I think Kenan Sofuoglu and Andrew Pitt will still be up there, and obviously I think Joan Lascorz is going to be there. I'm not saying they're going to challenge for the title - I think that might be down to me and Eugene now - but it's not over 'til it's over and I definitely see them coming into play in the results.

"What happened in Brno just means we've got to go to the next races and work even harder as a team. We know we can do it - we know we've got the pace and I fully expect us to come back fighting and winning races."