Cal Crutchlow has banished some demons by taking a podium result 12 months on from his career-threatening crash at Phillip Island.

The LCR Honda suffered a badly broken ankle in a high-speed crash during practice for last year’s Australian Grand Prix and has admitted he felt “scared and worried” returning to Phillip Island this weekend.

But having rediscovered his pace at the iconic circuit, where he claimed victory back in 2016 with LCR Honda, the British rider is naturally thrilled and relieved to return to the podium with second place having been promoted up one spot after Maverick Vinales crashed on the final lap fighting for victory against Marc Marquez.

“The funny thing was I never had a crash that I have thought about. I usually get back on and I don’t care but this one has haunted me for a year,” Crutchlow said. “I said to Lucy [Crutchlow, Cal’s wife] before I came here I was scared and worried.

“You never know if it is going to happen again because you are thinking about it. I think we proved that wrong today and it was nice to be here again.

“So to have some podiums, and one back at this Grand Prix is very, very special.

“I actually had the surgeon here today who did the operation as he saved my career. The whole LCR Castrol Honda team deserve this podium today. We know we got lucky with second place today as Maverick deserved to be on the podium but it is great to be on the podium with my mate Jack [Miller].”

Crutchlow was also a victim of a hard overtake by Marquez as the Repsol Honda rider gave chase to Vinales in the lead but the British rider judged the move to be fair – despite almost having his glove taken off by contact with the reigning world champion.

“I have no problem with the move as I stayed on the bike and that is it,” he said. “We are racing motorbikes and sometimes there is contact and sometimes there is not.

“Marc does these chop back moves, which he did, but I never left much room. I don’t know where he saw the gap but my glove fell off, it was half off, and I was trying to get it on for a lap. I was going past Iannone on the straight trying to rub my glove back on!”

Crutchlow records his third podium of the season, and first since the German round in early July, as he remains ninth in the MotoGP riders’ world championship and eight points behind Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller who joined him on the podium at Phillip Island in third place.

 

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