Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Bonnie Lane Posted: 30 Aug 2015
Cal Crutchlow has said that while he’s ‘disappointed and pissed off’ with how his British Grand Prix ended, he’s not angry with team mate Jack Miller who took him out on the third lap.
A strong start saw Crutchlow fighting for third place in the opening stages while Miller had shot off the line from 19th to join the leading pack.
After the pair had fought for position on the first half of the lap, Miller messed up his braking into the Vale chicane, ploughing into the side of his Givi LCR Honda team mate, wiping the pair of them out of the race.
Rejoining the race, Crutchlow limped back to the pits and tried to go out on his spare bike, but with a set-up for dry weather and the track increasingly wet, he crashed out for a second time soon after.
Miller, who says he wasn’t trying to make an overtake at the time, received one penalty point for dangerous riding.
“I wasn’t angry, just disappointed and pissed off,” said Crutchlow after the race. “I wasn’t angry with Jack though – it was a racing incident and I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again. I was more angry at Aleix [Espargaro] when did it to me than I was with Jack, even though I felt like I could have got a good result today.
“I had a great feeling before I got taken out, and I had a great feeling on the bike this morning. This is racing though. It would have been nice to have a good result here, because both the team and myself deserve it.
“At the time I got hit, I thought ‘please don’t be Jack!’ I didn’t want it to be him – if it was someone else, I could have scrapped with him in the gravel! Jack’s a likeable guy, he didn’t mean to do it, and he didn’t want to take himself out of the race either.”
Crutchlow said when he saw how well Miller had started the race, he thought about trying to get the Aussie to follow him in an LCR Honda attack on the leading pack.
“He passed me earlier on in the race as well and I passed him back thinking to myself that normally I think people who tap the seat unit and say ‘follow me’ are complete clowns – because they have just as much right as me to be there - but I thought about it then just to tell him to take it a little bit easier. I didn’t do it though, and the next thing I know he’s ploughed into me!”
“As a racer, the first thing you think is that you’ve got to try and make the corner. If he’d have gone straight, his race is ruined. You think you have to make it. Plus, if you go in with some angle, like Jack did, you scrub off speed even easier. I would have done the same; the same as the guy in fourteenth would have done it fifteenth if he’d made that mistake. Some guys would have ruined their race and went straight, but jack tried to make the corner – and unfortunately hit me.”
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Crutchlow says he was surprised to see his team mate fighting at the front after qualifying 16th on the open-spec RC213V-RS.
“When he came past in the early stages, I thought ‘I’m in a good position and he’s made up a lot of ground – there is no way he’s going to finish the lap’ – and there was only two corners left on the lap! I passed him back, to see if he could keep going on – but at that point he must have passed everyone I had passed too!
“I said to him afterwards – ‘you f*cking idiot – you could have let off the brakes, not hit me, and have taken someone else out ‘– not that I want anyone else crashing. It’s racing though, and yeah I was upset and disappointed afterwards, when I came into the pits and realised I could have had a great result and didn’t through no fault of my own.”
Had he remained in the race, Crutchlow reckons he could have run with eventual race winner Valentino Rossi, or at least been in the podium battle.
“Feeling that good is a rarity, but there’s some races where you feel untouchable, and that was one of them. At the time, I was cruising around wondering why they were going so slow, even though we were all right at the limit. I felt like I had a little in the tank and thought that I could have gone with the other guys – and that was always the plan.”
Despite the incident, Crutchlow refused to criticise his younger team mate and instead complimented his performance so far this season.
“Jack is riding really good The lap times he’s doing, a year or two ago, would have been good enough to be in the top six. It’s just that he’s come in in a savage year where everyone’s coming fast. Coming from Moto3 to GP, I don’t know what it’s like or what he needs to do. As far as I’m concerned, he’s doing a good job.
“In most sessions, he’s top open Honda, and that’s the best he can do. I remember he said at the start of the year his ambition was to try and beat Nicky, and I told him he had no chance. But now he’s beating him in most races! Nicky’s experience is obviously a lot different, but he’s doing a good job.”