THERE was more MotoGP disappointment for Coventry’s Cal Crutchlow after he crashed for a second consecutive race and finished just outside the points-scoring positions at the Grand Prix of The Americas.
Crutchlow headed into Sunday’s race in Austin high in confidence after an excellent performance in qualifying saw him record the sixth-fastest time of the second session which saw him start from fifth place on the grid.
The 30-year-old was looking healthy in seventh postion despite being hung out to dry at turn one which saw him drop down several positions but he slipped on lap eight of the race.
He bravely remounted his Rizoma branded machine before bringing the bike home just outside of the points-scoring positions in 16th place.
It was another disappointing ending for Crutchlow who crashed out of last week’s Argentina MotoGP but he remains confident that his LCR Honda team can put things right sooner rather than later.
“I was pushing too hard in an area we shouldn’t be pushing in,” said Crutchlow. “Our bike’s got no real acceleration and it means I have to try and make everything up on the brakes.
“The factory riders seem to have found something in that area this weekend, but whatever we’re doing at the moment is not working.
“We’re fast enough, there’s no doubt about that, we’re definitely capable of the pace, we just don’t have the acceleration.
“Three fifth places would have put us third in the championship at the moment, and I feel that they were there for the taking, but I haven’t been able to convert and it’s completely my fault, there’s nobody else to blame. We do need to look at setting the bike up differently because we’ve followed a direction that hasn’t been working.
“We work together as a team, we’re still confident, and although I’m angry, I look forward to getting it right in Jerez.”
Crutchlow and his LCR Honda team will now head to Europe and the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, aiming to find some solutions to the problems which have dogged them so far this year.
Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda team principal, added: “”Of course it’s a really difficult moment for the LCR Honda Team and for Cal too, but I think first we need to understand why he is crashing.
“We need to check our bike set-up and try something new starting in Jerez, that is already our plan.
“We are also discussing things with our tyre supplier Michelin, and they are aiming to try and improve the product for riders like Cal who use a lot of front brake to decelerate and load the front tyre and stress it.
“We need to stay positive as a team because we were fast in Qatar, and in Argentina after his crash. Even after his crash here, Cal was lapping fast, almost as much as Viñales who was fourth, so we are definitely fast. We just need to make some small changes to the bike set-up and a bit more luck.”