MotoGP riders have a complex relationship with their fellow competitors.

On the one hand, rivals stop you achieving your own dreams, force you to push beyond your limit, can put you in hospital if they make a mistake and out of a job if they are too fast.

On the other hand, rivals are the only people that truly understand what you are going through, make the same sacrifices and go through similar dark moments - all for the love of racing and in pursuit of the same goals.

"I like to battle on track more than ride alone, it makes it more entertaining and makes you go faster, but just because you don't like [your rivals] on track, doesn't mean you don't have to like them off track," Crutchlow said.

"The way that I look at this job, as well as doing something we love, you're all sacrificing the same things. You're all away from home, you're all traveling the world and not many of us like all the travel.

"You're all wanting the same thing, so you have to have a certain amount of respect for them because they're doing exactly the same as you. And when it's hard for you, surely at some point they'll find it just as hard as well.

"So I have that thought in my mind. Other people don't think past their own feet, because that's the way they are. But maybe I look at it from a different perspective.

"We're all in the game together, we're all risking our lives together, you have to have a certain amount of trust for the person sat next to you.

"But does it mean you have to like them? No, not really. But do I like many of them? Yes. Do I dislike some of them? Yes. But that doesn't mean I won't shake hands with them.

"I know the exact job they are doing day in, day out. Maybe it's easier for them sometimes, maybe it's more difficult."

Asked about his relationship with the other British riders, the double MotoGP race winner replied:

"Obviously I get on with Brad [Smith]. I got on with him when he was a team-mate. I don't particularly rate him as the best rider in the world, but I don't rate myself as the best rider in the world either.

"I love Sam Lowes, I love his attitude, he's one of my good, good friends. Scott [Redding] I don't get on with, but that's fine, I don't worry about that.

"But I always wish them all well and I always want them to have a good season.

"They're representing the country I was born in, and I like to see British riders do well against Spain, Italy, where they're born, raised and fed into racing.

"But it all depends on their attitude. Don't get me wrong, I haven't always got the best attitude! So I'm not saying I'm an angel. But I get on with Dovi, Marc, Vale… I don't particularly get on with Dani, but that's not because he hit me at Mugello last year, that's got nothing to do with it! [Laughs]."

Pressed on the importance of attitude, the Englishman explained: "You get 24 different riders and half of them are within half-a-second. That's 12 riders, different weights, sizes, bikes, brains, fuel at that time, whatever, and they manage to get around the track at the same speed.

"The only difference between us may be your attitude, or your mind.

"It's so difficult to work people out in motorcycle racing, I think. But in the end we all want the same thing. One guy might be calmer than the other, but does that mean he's not a nutcase away from the track?"

 

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