COVENTRY’S Cal Crutchlow picked up his first points of the MotoGP World Championship following an eleventh place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
The 30-year-old was unable to replicate the solid sequence of laps he put in during the morning warm-up session as track temperatures reached their highest at the start of the race.
Crutchlow started in tenth on he grid on his factory LCR Honda bike and strived to keep tabs on the Ducati riders ahead of him, but he struggled with grip in the latter stages of the 27-lap race and after eventually settling into a rhythm, he was finally able to open his account for the season.
Having endured a difficult weekend all round, the positives of keeping in the battle despite feeling uncomfortable throughout the 27-lap event mean that Crutchlow and his team can now start to build from this platform.
“The weekend was tough and I am pleased that I finished the race,” said Crutchlow.
“We believe we had a tyre problem because earlier I had a good warm-up with race distance on the tyres.
“I feel I rode a lot smoother in the race, but just wasn’t going anywhere. The last ten laps were a real struggle. We’re not too sure why just yet, but we just know there was a lot of vibration and I had to change to sixth gear on the straights where I’d normally use fifth – just to try and stop the spin.
Crutchlow and his LCR Honda team remained in Jerez for an extra day’s testing before moving onto France for the fifth round of the MotoGP series.
“There are no excuses, we have what we have,” Cruchlow added. “I finished eleventh, but finished the race.
“Obviously that doesn’t make me happy at all. Before the race I felt I could have been battling with Dani Pedrosa if I’m truly honest.
“I have no doubt in my mind I could battle up there today, but for some reason the Honda pace dropped a lot across the board with ten laps to go. Honda are working so hard though, and we will at least give them some information on full race distance which can hopefully help things.”