Britain’s Cal Crutchlow crashed out of ‘an easy and clear’ second-place finish on the last lap of today’s Phillip Island MotoGP but says he had no choice but to push in order to try and keep heat in the front tyre.
The works Ducati man had chosen the asymmetrical front tyre compund while race winner Valentino Rossi opted for the extra soft and it worked well as Crutchlow recovered from a bad start to work his way through the field, passing Jorge Lorenzo for second with five laps left.
But as track temperature dropped, and similarly-tyred Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro went down, Crutchlow lost the front at Honda corner just a handful of corners from a second podium on a bike that hasn’t changed since the Sepang test.
“Obviously, I am really disappointed to crash on the last lap as it looks like I made a stupid mistake but in the end I had to keep pushing because I had no heat in the front tyre and we knew we had to keep pushing because if I didn’t I would have crashed anyway,” said Crutchlow, speaking at Phillip Island.
“The front tyre temperature was always going to drop and I knew it was freezing in the last three laps. It was an easy, clear second place. I rode well throughout the race, it was easy for me. I rode to my pitboard to make sure I finished. We had some problems with the front tyre over the weekend, as did everyone else.
“I saw Marc crash, I saw Pol had crashed the lap before and then I crashed. We were all with the asymmetrical front tyre and we have seen how many people have crashed. The air temperature dropped nine degrees in the race and I never made it to the finish. I made a mistake and it was my own fault.”