Crutchlow: ‘Mentally I wanted to go home, first year in MotoGP was win or lose’

Set to take part in his final MotoGP race for the third time in three years, Cal Crutchlow will not be alone as Darryn Binder will move down to Moto2 after this weekend’s season-finale at Valencia.
Cal Crutchlow, RNF Yamaha MotoGP Sepang
Cal Crutchlow, RNF Yamaha MotoGP Sepang

The two Yamaha riders have shown good pace in recent rounds, with Crutchlow often challenging for the points in particular.

While it could be argued that Binder has been unfortunate to miss out on a seat in 2023 after being given just one year to make the jump from Moto3, the South African will move down to Moto2 with the Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP team. 

Crutchlow, who also came into MotoGP in unusual circumstances back in 2011 after moving across from WorldSBK, knows the challenges that come with needing to perform right away.

In fact, Crutchlow was at times finding himself in need of a break which he said made him want ‘to go home’.  

"I've always said in my career that I was lucky," added Curtchlow. "I was in the right place at the right time and I made the best decisions. I worked hard for it and then it worked.” 

"The motto for the first year in the MotoGP class was win or lose. Mentally, sometimes I just wanted to go home. But I pulled myself together and the next year was good."

When speaking about his current team-mate Binder, Crutchlow feels his pace has been better than the positions usually occupied by the former Moto3 rider.

Crutchlow believes Binder’s pace would have been good enough to fight for podiums just three years ago, however, that also highlights just how big a jump teams have made with their current machines in 2022. 

"It's so difficult in MotoGP because everyone is extremely fast," added the Brit. "Fabio Di Giannantonio, for example, is a much better rider than what he shows.” 

"Darryn is strong too. With the lap times Darryn is setting he could have been on the podium three years ago. That's the reality and he comes from Moto3."

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