Cal Crutchlow has said he was relieved to avoid injury in the Malaysian Grand Prix, such were his issues with a chronic lack of rear grip in Sunday’s wet race, during which he “just rode around, making sure I finished.”

Starting from tenth, the Englishman, who regularly excels in such conditions, was soon aware that all was not well with his package, as the rear of his bike came around in each of the track’s first three corners.

Soon in last position, Crutchlow set about nursing his bike home, and said he was applying the throttle to around ten percent of its capabilities on corner exit, such was the lack of grip at his disposal.

Crutchlow felt there was a definite issue with his wet rear tyre, stating it “looked like I could do” another 20 laps upon a post-race inspection. The one point collected for finishing 15th came as little consolation.

“I told you it was going to be a difficult day but that wasn’t the reason,” said the 31-year old, referring to his recent wet set-up issues that robbed him of feeling during several recent outings.

“We had a problem and I knew on the warm-up lap. I was last by the second corner of the race from tenth on the grid and then I just rode around. It was the easiest Malaysian race I’ve ever done. I was just riding around, making sure I finished the race because it looked like I would get points if I did that. We had an issue – not with our bike, but somewhere else.

“Mine [rear tyre] was out of shape. My rear tyre looked like I could do the Valencia race as well. It’s not even touched. It looks like you’ve just taken off the warmer, like it’s a brand new tyre. I have nothing else to say other than there’s something wrong with the rear tyre.

“We know there’s a problem with it. We can see there’s a problem with it. I was literally riding around thinking if I finished the race I’d get a point, or some points. The only time the tyre started to work was on the last lap when it was drying.

“Other than that I’m happy not to be injured. I didn’t want to crash. After two laps it looked like I wasn’t going to stay on the bike properly on a straight line, never mind anywhere else.”

When asked how he knew there was an issue with the rear, Crutchlow continued: “First of all on the warm-up lap I set off from the grid and I had a massive vibration. On the out lap I couldn’t really feel it. On my out lap my brakes weren’t working to the grid. It was because there was water on them.

“Then on the warm-up lap I had a big vibration. No rear grip and I cruised round the warm-up lap unable to open the throttle. I was wide everywhere. The worst thing is that you can’t lean the bike. When it’s that bad you can’t lean the bike. It comes round and throws you off.

“At the start of the race the brakes didn’t work, simply because they had water on them from spray from the other riders. I tipped into turn one - had a moment. Tipped into two – had a moment. Went around turn three and nearly high-sided four times in one corner.

“Then I was last and I was happy because it meant I was no risk to anyone else and no risks to myself. This is the way it goes. Sometimes you have good races, sometimes you have bad races. Sure, we’ve not been great in the wet all weekend but I could have been a lot further up than I was.”

On where he could have finished had it not been for those issues, Crutchlow added, “I think we would have finished in the top six of the race. I don’t think we had the pace of the Ducatis, that’s for sure.

“But I had the pace to beat Dani – that’s my feeling going on the other day, going on if we had a decent rear tyre. The thing was just a joke but there was nothing we could do about it, except go home happy that I’m not injured. And that’s it. That’s my sheer feeling – that I could have been really injured today.”



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