Cal Crutchlow defends Andrea Dovizioso over motocross injury

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Cal Crutchlow has defended Monster Yamaha Tech team-mate Andrea Dovizioso after the Italian broke his right collarbone in a motocross training accident earlier this month.

Dovizioso faced criticism from some quarters saying MotoGP riders should not risk injury by using motocross as part of their training regime.

Former Repsol Honda rider Dovizioso, who finished third in the 2011 world championship, required surgery on his damaged collarbone but he is expected to be fit for next week’s three-day Sepang test in Malaysia.

Almost all riders in the paddock train on motocross machines during the winter and in between races as a way of keeping fit while also practicing bike control.

Crutchlow has just returned to Europe from a winter training camp in California ahead of his trip to the Far East and he told MCN: “We are the only sport in the world where you get criticised for using a motorbike to train when that is our profession.

“We can’t go and ride our MotoGP machine each day or just jump on a road bike and have a blast down the M1. We have to use motocross bikes because you have to a ride a motorbike.

There is no substitute for being on two wheels and none of us go out and do crazy things because we know we can get injured. But tennis players play tennis to practice and golfers play golf to practice.

“We ride bikes and a couple of guys this winter have got injured and criticised for it when they shouldn’t at all.”

American Nicky Hayden was also injured during the winter when he crashed a flat-track machine shortly after Christmas.

The 2006 world champion broke his left shoulder blade and three ribs, but he too is expected to ride in the Sepang test, which kicks off on January 31.

The 30-year-old told MCN: “Strength will be the issue because I did 14 days in a sling and even now I can’t do weights or any strength work, so I expect that to be a problem. I hope to go riding. Sure I won’t be 100% but I don’t want to miss another test, so hopefully I can get something done.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt