Crutchlow regrets "big missed opportunity" with COTA crash
Cal Crutchlow was left to count the cost of another "big missed opportunity" after crashing while battling Valentino Rossi in MotoGP's Americas Grand Prix.
Crutchlow qualified third for Sunday's race at the Circuit of the Americas, and held that position in the early laps behind Marc Marquez and Rossi, shadowing the latter closely.
But the LCR Honda man's day came to an early end when he hit the deck at Turn 11 on the sixth lap of 20 - meaning he has scored just three points in the last two races, after being hit with what he perceived to be an unfair jump-start penalty in Argentina last month.
Marquez's subsequent crash from the lead meant Crutchlow would have been in the thick of the battle for the win - ultimately won by Alex Rins - had he stayed upright.
"It was a big missed opportunity and we need to limit them, because 13th in the last race through what I felt was a bad decision, that didn’t help my championship, and today I just lost another big chunk of points," lamented the Briton.
"My plan was to sit behind Valentino two more laps and then I was gonna try and go. I felt that was the point I needed the fresh air, that I needed to try and make a break, or at least be in front of him.
"I don’t think I would’ve broken away but I think I could’ve kept him behind because of where I was braking, how I was braking. But I knew I needed fresh air to decelerate and fresh air in general.
"Sure, I’m pissed, there’s no-one more pissed than me to go home with no points after another strong weekend, qualifying on the front row and being competitive in all the sessions, but I have to look at the positives. I have been fast at every GP this year and we go to [the next race in] Jerez in good spirits."
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Crutchlow denied he took more speed into the corner than previously, and instead called on Honda to look at how it can improve its stability under braking.
"I don’t think I went in there too fast," he said. "I braked in the normal place, did my normal line and corner entry, it’s just my bike snapped on the braking.
"Without the wind deceleration, the stopping effect of the bike is not good enough at the moment. We need to improve that. Here today in the braking zones I was not decelerating enough. That’s why you saw me out of the slipstream, especially into Turn 12 or Turn 1.
"It’s what normally happens when we’re following someone. The bike doesn’t turn and in the braking zone we’re not decelerating enough. So we have to squeeze the brake harder, and for longer.
"At the moment our bike is really unstable in braking for one reason or another, and we need to improve that."
Additional reporting by Charles Bradley
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
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