Cal Crutchlow made a brilliant MotoGP comeback in Assen today, the British rider claiming sixth position on an opening day of disrupted action in Holland.
Just 12 days after he smashed his left collarbone into five pieces in a qualifying crash at Silverstone, Crutchlow made a superb return to action in a rain-hit opening practice session this morning.
Riding in some discomfort just over a week after he had a plate and eight screws inserted in the collarbone, Crutchlow set the sixth quickest time with a 1.50.386 leaving him less than 0.4s away from reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
This afternoon’s session was cancelled after oil was dropped in the earlier Moto2 session and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider said: "I was happy enough this morning but the rain has made it easier for me. I think it would be really difficult in the dry, particularly changing direction in the fast chicanes. The last chicane is quite difficult because you go from right to left and that is even worse on the shoulder. The shoulder just feels quite sore and I’m pretty cautious with it.
"I’m definitely aware of it and when I start to go fast I think I should slow down a bit. In the wet conditions it doesn’t hurt that much, but I’m really wary because the last thing I need is another crash on it. I had a few rear grip issues with the bike but there is no reason why we can’t improve that. The track felt really slippery this morning but we need to find some rear grip on corner entry. To be honest I hope it rains all weekend because it will make it easier on me. If it’s dry race then it will be a long 26-laps on Saturday with a plate and a load of screws in my collarbone."