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MotoGP Styria: Crutchlow - ‘I broke the start device’

Petronas’s Cal Crutchlow may have finished 17th in his first MotoGP race back with Yamaha but the Brit is happy to have overcome the hurdles from the StyrianGP weekend.

“It was good to get a race under my belt but we had a problem in the main race with the rear tyre,” Crutchlow said from the Spielberg paddock on Sunday evening.

“A lot of the rubber came out, so after the race there was a big, big amount of rubber that had built up and stuck in the hugger part of the bike that I pulled out. It was apparent from right at the start of the race that I had a lot of spinning with the bike and the rubber was coming out straight away. I don’t understand why because in the first part of the race, I actually had a different tyre and it was fine. We swapped when there was the red flag.


“The first race I broke the start device and then the start device was stuck on, through my own fault, and I didn’t understand what was going on so I slowed down. I was five-seconds behind the last person on the first lap because I was checking to see what was going on with the bike, because I’d broken the thing.

“We got quite lucky with the red flag because we were able to be back in the race. Luckily we managed to fix the part that was broken and then I thought, ‘okay, now I’ll get a good start’ and the clutch was slipping off the start in the second one. So I had that for a lap and a bit. Then I was okay, I was in the group, but I understood straightaway that there was not the feeling from the rear tyre. Overall I felt I rode quite well considering the circumstances.

“I believe we could have been a lot, lot faster. Not that we were looking to be a lot, lot faster. I was happy with finishing the race, and physically I felt good. On the bike I actually felt quite good with the feeling of the bike, except for the tyre, and we’ve left the weekend happy.”

Running at the back of the field after the initial race start, Crutchlow had a front row seat to the spectacular crash that brought out the red flag. Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori collided with the stricken KTM of Dani Pedrosa after he fell at turn three moments before - the impact creating a fireball across the track with both riders luckily escaping serious injury.

“As I said I was five-seconds behind because I had this problem with the bike on lap one,” the Brit explained.

“I slowed down to check the bike, because I thought I damaged it, I didn’t know what was going on. I had to check the bike so I was riding up to turn three as the guys were going out of turn three and as I’m in the braking zone, I just see all these flames above it.

“I saw the yellow flags as I come round, but the bikes were already on fire. I slowed down because of two things, I wanted to check the riders were alright because I saw Lorenzo on the floor and I didn’t know - obviously I saw two bikes, I saw fire and I didn’t know if there was somebody there, actually in the fire, I just saw the bikes. I wanted to check there was no riders there, and it was apparent it was going to be red flagged. It wasn’t red flagged when I went past but I’d already slowed down, no marshals were going to go near these bikes at that point, I’m sure. So, I just looked and slowed down but obviously I was glad to see nobody was there.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think this was a freak accident, as in, this could happen at any circuit. They were unlucky,” he continued.

“When we came back to the pit, when I saw Dani was okay, when I saw Lorenzo was okay, I had a little bit of a chuckle that I thought ‘Dani’s crashed in the first couple of laps and he hasn’t done the race distance, so KTM are gonna make him come back next week as well’ so we were chuckling away thinking he’s gonna have to do two race weekends. But yeah, it was good that they were both okay, obviously Lorenzo’s got an injured ankle but I’m sure he’ll be back soon.”

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