Cal Crutchlow ends Tech 3 spell in gravel

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Cal Crutchlow’s three-year spell with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad ended in disappointment in Valencia yesterday when the British rider tumbled out of the top six.

Crutchlow, who will make his much anticipated factory Ducati debut in Spain later today, was chasing down the leading group of five when he crashed at Turn 4 on the 10th lap.

The 28-year-old escaped unhurt but it was only his second DNF of a stellar season and he fully accepeted responsibility for the crash that denied him the opportunity to claim a 13th top six finish of the season.

Crutchlow said: “I’ve got no excuses. I was pushing hard and I wanted to get a podium for the team. I had a full fuel tank and couldn’t stop and Valentino (Rossi) was exactly the same as me. I was coming from further behind and I clipped the kerb on the inside and that was it, my own fault. When you trying to gain 0.5s here you tend to cut kerbs and I made a mistake. I’ve still had a good year and some good podiums I didn’t finish last year really strong and it is the same this season. I bounced back well and hope it is the same at the beginning of next year. Hopefully I can come back strong and challenge in the early part of next year.”

Crutchlow was hoping to force his way into contention for a fifth podium of the season and his first since he came close to a stunning victory with second place at the Sachsenring in Germany back in July.

And he added: “It would have been very difficult to pass Jorge, Danni or Marc for a podium but I was confident I could have hung in there if I could have got to them. But I didn’t and that’s the end of it. Valentino rode smart. He couldn’t stop and had no grip and when the fuel load went down he got faster and faster.”

Crutchlow spent the rest of the 30-lap race as a reluctant spectator watching the action unfold as rookie sensation Marc Marquez wrapped up an historic first world title.

Crutchlow said Marquez was a worthy champion after a third place saw him defeat compatriot Jorge Lorenzo by just four-points.

He added: “Jorge rode fantastic but Marc deserved the championship. As much as I believe lately that Jorge has been riding better, he is not on the Honda and you can see how far Valentino and me are behind him. Marc deserved to win and he came into MotoGP and won the title and nobody else has done what he has done for a lot of years.”

For eight pages of exclusive reaction to the thrilling Valencia title decider, see the November 13 issue of Motor Cycle News.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt