Mallory Park British Superbikes: New slicks cost Cal Crutchlow in race two

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Cal Crutchlow said a late decision to switch from wet rubber to slicks for the second British Superbike race at Mallory Park this weekend could have cost him the win.

With race two deemed wet by organisers, Crutchlow was one of a handful of riders who opted for slick rubber on a fast-drying track.

But because he’d left his decision so late, the two-time race winner this season had to run on completely new tyres.

He said: “It was a huge gamble for everyone, not just us, about which tyres to go out on. I left pit lane on wets, but we made the decision to change to slicks on the grid.

“The problem was everyone else who had decided on slicks were using a scrubbed in set – we were using a band new pair of tyres.

“So the tyres I used still had the shiny coating on the top which made them even slipperier for the opening few laps – that’s why I struggled at the start.”

The 22-year old Coventry rider’s two third places at Mallory Park were good enough to promote him back up to second in the championship standings.

But with a gap of 97 points to series leader Shane Byrne has left Crutchlow with a clear focus for the second half of the season.

“All I need to do is start beating Shakey now,” he said. “I had a go at Shane towards the end of the second race but I locked the front brake at the hairpin and ran wide. But that’s what I have to aim for at the remaining rounds this season.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull