MotoGP: Crutchlow helped out by Assen rain

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Cal Crutchlow has admitted that his incredible performance at the Dutch TT to charge through the field in the closing stages of the race was aided by the arrival of the rain, after the LCR Honda rider missed out on podium success by a mere 0.084 at the line.

Crutchlow made a slow start to Sunday’s race, dropping back as far as tenth before a late rally through the field left him in contention for the podium finish, only to lose out to fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez through the final chicane at the Assen circuit.

But, with enough rain falling during the race to bring a number of riders into the race to switch to wet tyres, Crutchlow admitted that after a bad qualifying, his confidence in the damp track gave him the ability to finish further forward in the final order than he would have been capable of had it remained dry – even if he didn’t think conditions were that bad!

“I didn’t think I was taking any risks! But that gives you the doubt in your mind – ‘am I going way out of control here?’ But I wasn’t having any moments, I was just riding what I thought was a normal race. But I was hindered with my qualifying position, and if I had started the race with the lead group then I would have been able to win the race, because I was faster than them. But I wasn’t there, so that’s my fault.”

But despite losing out to Marquez on the run to the line, Crutchlow came away from the weekend pleased with his pace and with a strong finish to his weekend, especially after a difficult two races last time out in Mugello and Montmelò.

“It’s funny that I was battling with the championship leader in Montmelò and the championship leader in Assen, yet people think I was riding badly. I had problems there and I didn’t have problems in Assen, simple as that!”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer