Brake problems held back Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow finished fifth in Malaysia after an eventful race that saw him clash with Andrea Dovizioso and then suffer a braking issue that left him unable to hold off Bradley Smith.
"It was a really strange race today. I had a small problem with the brake lever after about eight laps of the race. "e had a problem with the brake and I managed the tires as best as possible, but I had not such a good feeling with the brake, because of the problem with the brake lever I had. To finish fifth, and to finish the three flyaway races with a result is not so bad, but we should have been in fourth place today, riding our own race, not too far behind Valentino. But we didn't, and we have to go to Valencia and try and do our best."
Having been in front of Smith in the early laps the braking issue meant that Smith was able to close the gap on Crutchlow. Without being able to brake confidently and making some mistakes he was a sitting duck for Smith and after that Crutchlow had to settle for fifth at the flag.
"Brad was on me then and I made a mistake and went out wide, then I went out again on the same lap, and Brad got past. But I was completely unable to stay with Brad, simply because the reason when I was braking, where I was stronger than him, I had a really hard brake lever in my hand, and the brake felt really good in the initial braking, but then the lever went really far out, and I couldn't even reach the brake. So, I think you saw, into Turn 1, when I nearly hit Brad and ran really out on the track and back in again."
When asked about the reason for the brake problem Crutchlow said that the heat on race day, and not having any air to cool the brakes during the race, was the root of the issue.
"We think I pushed harder in the race, behind the other riders, there's no air going onto the disk as such, but we had a cooling problem with the brake. And this is, at the moment, we haven't really investigated too much, but I should have been fourth today, and I wasn't, so I'm disappointed for this. But it was not a difficult race, it was an easy race physically for me, I felt quite good on the bike. I was able to push when I needed to push with Dovi, but the last five laps, I slowed down, because honestly, I needed to finish the race."