Crutchlow: I was so close to racing at the NW200

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It’s bikeweek at the Northwest 200 and as usual Cal Crutchlow is keeping tabs on events at the Triangle circuit. The LCR Honda rider is always keen to talk about road racing and today at the French Grand Prix was no exception with the Englishman telling MCN how close he came to racing on the roads during his British championship days.

“I’m a big road racing fan,” said Crutchlow. “I love the TT, I love the Northwest. One year, I was so close to doing the Northwest, I actually got injured just before it (racing in BSB), I sat with Lucy last night and said, I just want to do one road race, and I think the Northwest, that’d be the one to do. And she said that if I do it, I get a divorce, so it looks like I’m not doing it.”

With the Northwest quickly becoming the most expensive race of his career there’s little chance that we’ll see Crutchlow taking on the likes of John McGuiness, Michael Dunlop and Guy Martin anytime soon. Glenn Irwin, a cousin of Cal’s wife Lucy, is making his debut on the coastal roads this week and Crutchlow gave his view on the Ulsterman’s chances:

” Glen (Irwin) has been going really well but I would say he needs to take it easy, see how it goes for a year, this year, and then come back. There’s no doubt he’s got the speed to win on the roads, because he can beat the likes of Seeley in British championships, so if he can beat them there, there’s no problem with that. But his riding style’s a little bit aggressive for the roads, but I think he’ll be able to learn his way round. I don’t know whether he’ll go to the TT though.”

When asked about what makes it easier for a short circuit racer to adapt to the Northwest Crutchlow joked that “you’d be better off asking McGuiness!” before giving his opinion that the shorter lap and the ability to use a slipstream rather than having to lap on your own at the TT offered short circuit racers a much greater chance to stay in the pack and fight with the pure roads riders.

“It’s a four minute lap. And I don’t mean this in the wrong way, there’s not less risk, there’s less corners, as such. So there’s less to learn, if you’re clever with the slipstream, it’s less of a lap to lose time to the guys that do the TT. So it looks like the short circuit guys go better at the Northwest than at the TT, but I don’t know enough about it to comment.”

Steve English

By Steve English