MotoGP: Rivals pay tribute to Crutchlow victory

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Cal Crutchlow’s MotoGP rivals have paid tribute to the LCR Honda rider’s stunning victory last weekend in Phillip Island, admitting after the race that both the Brit’s pace had been unstoppable – but also that they expected him to be strong there.

The tribunes were led by Maverick Viñales, who many tipped for success ahead of the weekend – but who admitted afterwards that he only wished he had pace like Crutchlow’s.

“Last year I battled in the race with Cal, but this year there was no chance of that happening! I’m so happy for him though. He’s fast in Malaysia too – I just watched back some old races this week and saw that, and I just hope that I can be as fast as him there!”

Fellow podium finisher Valentino Rossi was also quick to praise, confessing afterwards that he had no answer for Crutchlow in the battle for the win.

“There was one lap where Cal gained one second, but I was able to push more when he was, and in the next lap I gained some back again on him. But he was doing incredible laps, and I knew even before we came here that he would be strong. Cal has a special riding style and a special riding style that really suits him. Congratulations to him, because he deserved it.”

And even marc Marquez, who crashed out of the lead while being hunted down by Crutchlow, had kind words for him afterwards, confirming that he always expected the satellite rider to be strong.

“I expected that Cal would be strong a Phillip Island, because in the second half of the season he’s been strong everywhere. But for him Phillip Island is great, and he was very fast here with the Ducati too, and almost second. But I was hoping to be a little bit faster than him, but unfortunately for me it wasn’t to be so congratulations to him!”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer