Tag Archives: cal crutchlow

Crutchlow wins Rossi battle during his ‘ride of the year’

Crutchlow wins Rossi battle during his 'ride of the year'
“I think it was the best ride of the year for Cal” – Herve Poncharal.

Cal Crutchlow may only have finished ninth in Sunday’s Aragon MotoGP, but the Englishman’s battle with grand prix legend Valentino Rossi and former 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama was the main highlight of a processional race.

The trio spent most of the race swapping positions, with rookie Crutchlow eventually getting the better of both factory Ducati star Rossi and Gresini Honda rider Aoyama.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow’s stand-out pass was an outside move on Rossi into turn one and he crossed the finish line just 0.180sec ahead of Rossi and 0.345sec clear of Aoyama.

“I’m really pleased with how the race went today because I was back inside the top and having a really good and enjoyable fight with two of the best riders on the grid, who have had a lot of success in grand prix racing,” said Crutchlow.

“What pleases me the most is that I could make up for the lack of speed on the straight in the corners because the Yamaha handles brilliantly and my Tech 3 Team gave me a really good bike today.

“But to hold off Valentino and Hiroshi at the end took a massive effort. I think if they’d started the final lap in front of me on the straight it would have been hard for me to slipstream.

“There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend because I’ve got back in the top 10 on a track I’d never seen before and beaten two guys with a lot more experience than me.

“I gained a lot of experience today riding with Valentino and that has given me a lot of confidence for the next few races.”

Crutchlow’s performance moved him up to 13th in the world championship rankings and was his ‘bets ride of the year’ according to team manager Herve Poncharal.

“I think it was the best ride of the year for Cal,” said Poncharal. “Maybe not in terms of the final position, but the way he rode was fantastic. The start was difficult, but he never gave up and what was really good is that he was riding with Valentino and Hiroshi and he would have learned a lot from those two.

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MotoGP Estoril test: Crutchlow ‘faster than Pedrosa’s race pace’

Crutchlow tried a longer wheelbase which allowed him to lap in the 36s

Now bearing in mind that Pedrosa is about 20kgs lighter than most of the current MotoGP line up, Crutchlow’s pace in this test is further proof that he will go far in MotoGP….oh and the fact that he is as determined as anyone to be a winner in this sport.

Monster Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow is more than pleased with his laptime in yesterday’s MotoGP test at Estoril as it was faster than the works Honda of Dani Pedrosa managed in Sunday’s race when he took victory ahead of reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo.

The former footballer set the fourth-fastest time of the session and managed to go into the 1’36s bracket, joining Marco Simoncelli, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. He was also faster than Valentino Rossi using a longer wheelbase in the Yamaha than he has in the past.

“Today was really positive and I can’t really ask for much more than finishing fourth quickest with only three of the fastest riders in the world in front of me. I was able to lap nearly two seconds faster than I did in the race but I was quietly confident that the changes we planned to make for today would mean I could go a lot faster,” said Crutchlow.

“Losing so much track time because of the weather at the weekend meant I couldn’t risk taking a gamble on making too many changes for the race. I honestly didn’t expect to break into the 36s but I felt comfortable and even with 25-laps on the same set of tyres I was doing low to mid-37s.

“I know everyone goes faster in a test but my time today was faster than Dani Pedrosa’s best lap in the race and he won, so my pace bodes well for the future. We moved the handlebars and lengthened the wheelbase and I just felt much more comfortable. The bike was a lot easier to ride and much less aggressive and I was fast throughout the whole day.

“If I’d had this set-up for the race I’m sure I could have had a battle with Colin, and he was sixth, so that’s really encouraging. I can’t wait for Le Mans now. It is the home race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and today’s result has given me a lot of confidence that I can be competitive again on another track I have to learn from scratch.”