It's the season of goodwill and here is something to help counter the acrimony generated by the end of the 2015 MotoGP championship.

Several years ago, young MotoGP fan Shaina Salvia got in touch with her idol Cal Crutchlow. That led to her meeting the Englishman and his girlfriend (now wife) Lucy when, impressed by the braveness of the six year old, Crutchlow presented Shaina with his racing gloves.

Fast forward three years and Shaina got another chance to meet her hero at October's Malaysian Grand Prix - this time, inspired by her school work, she also requested an interview!

Cal agreed and, having prepared questions on her tablet, Shaina was ushered into the LCR Honda pit garage by Lucy where they sat down for the interview. Shaina soon overcame her nerves and all went well.

But Shaina was hoping the interview could be published in her school magazine to coincide with her tenth birthday, which is today (December 8), and disappointed to learn that wouldn't be possible.

Shaina's mum contacted Crash.net to see if we could help spring a birthday surprise. We asked Cal, who immediately gave the green light, adding: "I enjoyed the interview - it was the best one of the year!"

So here you go Shaina - and Happy Birthday!

Shaina Salvia A.S.:Looking serious, and a little nervous.
Before you came to MotoGP you were riding in World Superbike. Other riders from MotoGP go to World Superbike before they retire. Do you have any plan to go back to World Superbike in the future?

Cal Crutchlow:
I don't plan to go back to World Superbike in the future but only because I now ride in MotoGP and I think when I finish my career, I will finish it here. That does not mean I wouldn't be interested in World Superbike, I just don't think I'm going to ride there again. I think in the end I will finish my career here but I don't know when. Maybe one year, maybe ten years. As soon as I stop loving racing motorbikes I can go home and love Lucy more (laughs)!

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
You ride the Honda for almost one year, are you happy with your riding?

Cal Crutchlow:
I'm happy and not happy, both. I'm happy because the first half of the year was ok, and in the last few races it got a little better. We had some bad races and some bad luck, so the championship position is not really good, but I think I'm still fast enough. The Honda is a really difficult bike to learn. So next year maybe I am a lot faster again.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
You crashed with your team-mate Jack Miller in Silverstone. How you can smile again with him? Sometimes at school, if my friends disappoint me, it's difficult for me to smile with them again...

Cal Crutchlow:
(Laughs) You have to be a good person and Jack is not a bad person. He didn't mean to make a mistake. He didn't do it on purpose. He didn't want to crash and he didn't want to hit me either.

He said he was really sorry. I said it's ok, because I was angry with him for one minute and then calmed down. It is ok, because I have crashed into people before as well. And if I do it again and I'm still angry with Jack, they might still be angry with me. You need to have forgiveness and I forgive him. But if he does it again, there is big trouble!

No, I'm only joking (laughs)!
Shaina Salvia A.S.:
How did you get idea to choose 35 as your racing number?

Cal Crutchlow:
Because I had the number 5 before, in my first 3 years of racing. Then I couldn't have the 5 anymore, so I put the 3 ahead. But it's really good, because my favourite number is 5 and Lucy's is 3. So it works perfectly.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
Is it easy to be a rider?

Cal Crutchlow:
I think it's easy sometimes, but people think it's a lot easier than it is. We have to work hard. I think we have a job that we all love and we are very privileged. It's a really special job to have, to be the rider. But it's also difficult at times, because you're never at home, you're always travelling. And when we travel the world we don't see so much. We don't go to visit places, because we need to go to the circuit, the hotel and the airport. We don't get to see so much of the world. So it's honestly a really tough job, but it's a job we love and we'll never change. I think all riders feel the same.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
In Malaysia your bike had different [Castrol] colours. Was this just for Malaysia?

Cal Crutchlow:
It was just for Malaysia. But I hope it will remain, because it looks really good.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
What is your target in every race?

Cal Crutchlow:
To win! Always the target is to win, but we all know it is very difficult for me to win at the moment. Maybe I will be tenth, maybe I will be fifth. But we always have to aim to win.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
Thank you for the interview.

Cal Crutchlow:
You're very welcome.

Shaina then took out the gloves Crutchlow gave her three years ago.

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
Could you sign them for me please?

Cal Crutchlow:
[While signing gloves] I still remember when I gave them to you. Great that you still have them... Do you want a photo with the bike?

Shaina Salvia A.S.:
Wow, thanks!

 

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