Cal Crutchlow has revealed just how close he was to being taken out by an errant Jorge Lorenzo at the first corner of the latest MotoGP outing at Aragon, and said his own crash on the fifth lap came as he was attempting to make up lost ground.

Starting from fourth on the grid, the Englishman enjoyed a good getaway and entered the first turn in third. Yet his run was blocked as Lorenzo was dramatically catapulted from his Ducati with the race just nine seconds old.

“Did I see it? He almost landed on the front of my bike,” said Crutchlow, who found himself in eighth – behind Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and Dani Pedrosa – soon after the incident. Feeling he had the pace to challenge for the podium positions, he was keen to cut a swift path through the three riders ahead.

But entering turn one on the fifth lap and a vicious sideward movement from the rear of his Honda RC213V was enough to push the front tyre over the limit. A fourth DNF of the year was the result.

“I was feeling quite good with the bike, but I had to come from too far back,” said Crutchlow. “We know how important to start in these races, and I didn't get the start. I knew that in the next three laps, I had to clear Aleix and Dani to have a shot at the podium.

“But Aleix was hard to pass, because he was running the soft tyre, and he couldn't get the drive. But I felt good, I felt good with the bike, the tyres were working well, I'd just got into Turn One, probably no different to the lap before, I just snapped a little bit with the rear, and slapped down.

“I think also in the position I was in, with the front tyre getting a bit hot, I never had great grip, but I never really had any warning as such. So yeah, not a good weekend, and we have to try and recover in Thailand.

“I think it would have been a different situation if I never got held up in the first corner, but this is racing. You can't predict the first corner, you can't predict anything. Because nobody would have predicted that Lorenzo wouldn't have made it round the first corner.

“I had a plan today, and the plan was to be there, because Jorge was running the soft front tyre, and I didn't think it would last, honestly. I think in hindsight, if you look at it, the people who raced the hard rear tyre made the wrong choice.

“Three of the top four were on the soft rear. But you don't know that, it's just the way it is, and you have to deal with it. I think I could have been competitive, but unfortunately I crashed, so that's it.

“I made a snap in the braking - not a mistake, this is the way you have to ride the Honda – but as I leaned the bike, I had the brake pressure on, it snapped, and my hand on the lever, as soon as the bike snaps, it shakes and suddenly you've pressed the brake more.

“Exactly the same as Marc did yesterday in Turn Seven, and today in Turn One. And what I did yesterday in the qualifying. The bike moves like that a little bit.”

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Overheating the front tyre was a familiar complaint that Crutchlow has sounded throughout the past two seasons.

“This is what we have,” he said. “Our bike is good. The positive is that we can out-brake people for fun. When you are so on the limit, I had the heat of seven bikes on the front tire as well, the pressure or the feeling was not that bad.

“But you sit and look at it after and you say, you should have played a longer game, because I could probably have finished easily in the top five. But in the moment, when you are in the race, you have to try to clear people. You can't just ride around like Scalextric cars, you know?

“So obviously you have to push, but honestly, I didn't think I was pushing that much. I was getting held up in a lot of places by Aleix, but on the exit of the corners, he had the soft tire and he was just getting out.”

On the Lorenzo crash, the 32-year old added, “I have no idea what happened. I don't think he opened the throttle. I think he used the rear brake, from my opinion. I don't know. There's so many bikes, you can't hear.

“I don't know if he opened the throttle or not, but the lean angle he had to try to turn, because Marc went in a bit hot, and he tried to cut back, and he leaned the bike so much.

“But obviously I had to shut off and brake, because at that moment, I was picking the bike up, and his bike was here [directly in front]. So I thought I was going to ride into him and the bike, but the bike flipped and then I could go.”

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