IT PROVED to be a disappointing end to the Spanish MotoGP for Cal Crutchlow after he was forced to retire for the third consecutive race this season.
A possible podium finish had been tipped for the Coventry-born rider following several other retirees.
But the 29-year-old was clipped by a fellow rider on the first lap of the Catalunya course on Sunday which sent him skittling into the gravel.
Crutchlow bravely battled on but a problem with brakes on his CWM LCR Honda bike forced him to retire to the pits.
He said: “I got hit by Aleix (Espargaro), and when he hit me I had already fallen off the side of the bike because he touched me when we were going into the corner.
“It was definitely a racing incident, I don’t think he meant to do it, he just gave me a bump and I ended up crashing. He pushed me wide onto the dirty part of the track and it was impossible to save.
“When I got back on board I didn’t have any rear brake, the bump had split the line and that’s why I was forced to retire. With the Honda it’s impossible to carry on without the rear brake.
“I’m angry, because it was the first lap of the race and disappointed about the result because I am sure that we had a chance of the podium.”
Crutchlow now has time to recover and prepare for the Dutch MotoGP in Assen this weekend.