Cal Crutchlow felt the outcome of Sunday’s MotoGP outing in Austin was “a big missed opportunity,” one in which he spurned the chance of a podium finish due to a costly fall on lap five.

The Englishman said he was “pissed” at the crash that came at turn ten when contesting Valentino Rossi for second place. “It seems like the same old story,” he said when explaining the reasons behind the fall.

On Saturday Marc Marquez had noted how Honda’s 2019 RC213V had difficulties dealing with the dreadful bumps around the Circuit of the Americas. “The bike snapped in braking and when the rear comes round suddenly you lock the front,” Crutchlow said of the fall.

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“I’m pissed,” he said. “No doubt about it. It could have potentially been an easy podium because Jack did great to finish on the podium but his pace was not there to be on the podium as such.

“You have to finish the race and we didn't so I’m disappointed for that of course. Even if we could not have challenged to win the race or finish second then we would have been on the podium today. I made a mistake and we have to move on.

“In the end it seems like the same old story: when we are behind people it looks like we are a madman with the braking or the Hondas are mad but that is our ammunition and what it always has been and we are not actually at massive risk when we do that.

“It’s just our strong point while that of the Yamaha is turning and having grip in the middle of the corners. I felt I was losing out in the few of the corners so I was having to make it up in braking.

“I don't think I went in there too fast because I braked in the normal place and with my normal line and corner entry but the bike snapped on braking and when the rear comes round suddenly you lock the front because the pressure is on.

“Without the wind de-acceleration the stopping effect on our bike is not enough at the moment and we need to improve that, whether by setting or in other areas. It is disappointing to end this way but our bike is working well.

“Apart from the crash today you saw when I rode alone in Argentina I made a very good race. Qatar was a different story and it is a lot different track [compared] to here and I was riding in a group there and felt no problem.

“But here today for some reason in the braking zones I was not decelerating enough. That's why a lot of the time you saw me out of the slipstream in the braking zone especially into turn twelve or turn one. Obviously not happy but I am happy with my speed. [There is] No doubt about that.”

In previous years Crutchlow has complained of issues regarding the rising front tyre temperature when his RC213V is following other machines. From his comments on Sunday, he suggested his issues were not necessarily tyre related.

“I don't think [it affected us] massively like in previous years but it’s the same story when we normally are following someone: the bike doesn't turn and in the braking zone we don't decelerate enough.

“So we have to squeeze the brake harder and for longer. At the moment our bike is really unstable in the braking for one reason or another and we need to improve that.

“Look at the bike in the braking zone: it’s snapping around all over the place and evidently when it happens and it grips you cannot keep control of the brake lever. You have two choices. You either try to go into the corner or you don't. If you don't then you lose the position and you lose a second.

“I tried my best, it didn't work out today and that's it. It was a big missed opportunity and we need to limit them because 13th in the last race through what I felt was a bad decision did not help my championship and today I lost another big chunk of points.”

After Crutchlow’s jump-start penalty in Argentina, the Circuit of the Americas witnessed two further incidents at the beginning of Sunday’s race. On this occasion Maverick Viñales and Joan Mir were culpable.

“I didn't [see it],” said the Englishman when asked for his opinion on their penalties. “And I’m not saying I’m glad that someone else got a jumpstart – that’s not what I’m saying – but obviously they are hot on it now.

“Maybe they [the FIM Stewards] haven’t been as hot as before, maybe because they thought I’d complain. I don't know. But from what I heard Mir didn't really do anything. It is what it is.”

 

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