Aragon MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow misses podium on last lap

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Cal Crutchlow refused to be too downbeat after he narrowly missed scoring a second podium in the last three MotoGP races at the Motorland Aragon yesterday.

The British rider had been locked in a race long duel with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso that went right down to the last lap.

But it was the Italian who took his sixth rostrum of the season after Crutchlow had twice failed to make overtakes stick at the tight Turn 15 on the last two laps.

Crutchlow first lunged under Dovizioso’s YZR-M1 at Turn 15 on the penultimate lap, but Dovizioso was able to immediately seize the position back.

The 2009 World Supersport champion then launched an identical attack on the final lap only for the outcome to be the same, with Dovizioso cutting back on a tighter line to power by Crutchlow on the exit.

Crutchlow was disappointed to have missed the chance to add to his brilliant third in Brno recently but happy to have bounced back quickly from the Misano race when he crashed out early on while in pursuit of Dovizioso.

He told MCN: “Dovi and me are so evenly matched in every area. The only thing he has is a little acceleration advantage because he is little bit lighter.

“Our bikes and equipment are equal, so to makes passes on each other it takes a mistake, which I made going onto the start/finish straight in the middle of the race.

“I tried the two passes in the chicane because I thought if I could get ahead of him going onto the last lap I could have done a superpole lap on the last lap to break him.

“I had another go on the last lap at the same place, even though he was wise to it, he kept it really tight. You have to take a lunge and not many people were taking risks so I thought I’d have a go. There is nothing else I could do on the track.

“We are so evenly matched you have to make a go for it. The risk was not to stop as much as I did but I nearly stalled I was going that slow at one point and he still managed to cut back.

“I am disappointed I didn’t get the podium but I am also pleased because last year I was racing a minute behind the winner. After Misano it shows how strong we have bounced back with a front row and fourth place.”

Crutchlow said he had tried to make a move on Dovizioso at Turn 5 too in the closing stages but he said: “Dovi knew that because after he’d followed me for the first half of the race he knew how fast I was there and on the last lap he went a lot quicker than any other lap that I’d followed him before, so he knew that I’d have a lunge there.

“I’m disappointed to lose a battle to my teammate but at the end of the day I was on the floor in Misano, but I’ve bounced back and got a front row and a fourth position, so it was a good weekend.”

For more thoughts from Crutchlow on Sunday’s Motorland Aragon race, see the October 3 issue of Motor Cycle News.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt