Cal Crutchlow held his hands up to a mistake that caused him to crash out of the French MotoGP on lap eight and said that before he had no confidence with the front end of his Honda RC213V.

The Englishman was frustrated after his first DNF of 2015 having crashed on the entry to the downhill turn six. Speaking on Sunday evening Crutclow said his foot got caught under the wheel, forcing him to grab the brake lever as he chased Bradley Smith and Marc Marquez.

"I go down the hill and I always put my foot out," he said. "I put it back on the peg. My foot drops off the rear brake and it went under the bike. As it did that I grabbed the front brake. It was a mistake on my part. I locked it because I grabbed it so fast but I was already braking. The twitch literally just made me grab."

Before that Crutchlow struggled to hold the early pace of the 'Factory' Yamahas and Ducatis, claiming the grip offered by the front tyre gave no confidence and kept him from pushing at the limit.

"We couldn't enter the corner," said the 29-year old. "Dani crashed immediately. Scott crashed immediately. I ended up crashing but I never crashed because of that. I felt that I was comfortable at that pace and at the end of the race it would have come back to me. Last year's race here was really similar. I think if you look at Marc's overall time from today it's very close to what won the race last year.

"The problem is 21 seconds ahead was the winner. We need to improve where we're able to do that. I was right behind Marc, my factory guy as such. Yes, we crashed but we couldn't push. When we did push we made mistakes. You saw how many times Marc ran off the track when he pushed. I just never pushed to the limit where I went off the track. I'm really disappointed with my first DNF of the season.

Crutchlow took some solace from his proximity to Marquez, who was suffering similar problems, before the crash. Had it not been for that mistake the Englishman is confident he would have been in the fight for fourth.

"We're really disappointed because we were close to our 'Factory' guy. Bradley did a good job but he was a long way from his 'Factory' guy. Iannone too but he was a long way from Dovi.

"Never write Valentino off. He never had that pace all weekend and he's able to do it in the race. He's riding so strong. Lorenzo was riding around with one hand on the last lap doing a faster lap time that most in the race. That shows how competitive they are at the moment.

"Again we've been pleased with our race weekend. I would have been pleased with a result to finish the race in fourth. We'd definitely have been in that battle with Marc, Iannone and Bradley. But I wasn't. No excuses. Things happened and I crashed the bike."



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