FRUSTRATION FOR CRUTCHLOW IN QATAR
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow endured a disappointing start to the 2017 MotoGP World Championship as he crashed out of Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit. As on Saturday - when qualifying had to be cancelled - the venue was hit by rain prior to the start of the premier class event which forced a delay as race direction consulted with the riders about the safety of the track. Eventually, they were given the go-ahead for a reduced 20-lap race, but the greasy conditions made life difficult.
Setting off from ninth on the grid, Crutchlow switched from a hard to medium tyre just prior to the race. He made a solid start and was lapping in 11th when he suffered a fall on the fifth lap which saw him re-enter the fray in last place. Worse was to follow for the Briton, though, as he crashed again not long after rejoining, with the fall this time putting an end to his race. It was an unfortunate finale to what proved a largely frustrating weekend for the 31-year-old.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“I changed the front tyre on the grid, the same as Marc (Marquez), and we shouldn’t have. The medium tyre was way too soft on the front for us, but we were forced into changing because the race was later and they were concerned about the dew. It was completely the wrong decision for us, but it was sort of taken out of our hands.
“I started the race from a good position, but I had a contact with Valentino (Rossi) on the first lap. I didn’t think anything of it, but riding behind the other guys was almost impossible as the front tyre was way too hot. I went off line a tiny bit at the final corner and crashed, but I got back on. I shouldn’t have really, as the handlebar was bent and there was mud on the grip.
“But I have a never-say-die attitude and wanted to finish the race, but the second crash was because the bike was already damaged. I am sorry for my team, we had a similar start last season”.