The Monster Energy Grand Prix De France was the chance for Monster Yamaha Tech3 to show off in front of their home crowd at Le Mans, but Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards faced bitter disappointment instead.
Starting from 6th place on the grid, Cal Crutchlow was hoping to score a career best finish, but only 6 laps into the race, whilst in 9th place and only 0.2s behind factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies, he lost the front end at Turn 6. Luckily he was able to get back on the bike, but one lap later had to retire, due to a throttle problem.
“I’m pretty disappointed because looking at how the race panned out I could have been in sixth place because when I crashed I was having a good battle with Ben.” said Cal.
“I’d caught him quite easily and was looking forward to a good race when I made a stupid little mistake in Turn 6. I touched the kerb and I lost the front. I literally fell off the side of the bike and that was it. It is disappointing because I had the pace to get another top eight, but these things can happen when you’re pushing so hard in a competitive class like MotoGP.” he continued.
“I managed to get back on the bike but there was a problem with the throttle, so it was impossible for me to carry on. I showed my raw speed all weekend so I’m not going to be too hard on myself, though I was desperate to get a good result for Tech 3 and Monster.” finished Crutchlow.
Colin Edwards was shaping up for a decent points finish after pushing hard to stay with the midfield pack of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi. However on Lap 14 he suffered the same kind of incident as Cal. Losing the front at the chicane, and losing a footpeg in the process. He was able to recover to the pits so the missing footpeg could be replaced, but this put him 2 laps down on everyone else, leaving him dead last in 13th.
“I got one of the best starts I’ve had in a long time and I just flew off the line but it was the usual jostle for position at the first corner.” said Colin. “I got a bit of clear track in front of me and I could see Valentino was coming back to me a little bit and Dovizioso and Lorenzo were also just in front of him. I rode at my absolute maximum to try and stay with them because I really wanted to get a top six for Tech 3 and for Monster. I was losing four of five bike lengths though coming onto the back straight and then I’d also lose a bit more time at the next chicane because I wasn’t that fast through there. I could see the gap was staying at 1.5s and there was nothing I could do. I wasn’t making mistakes but neither were they, so I could see them but just not get close enough.”
Talking about his off, he continued, “When I crashed it didn’t feel like I was doing anything too stupid. I was on the same line and I didn’t get in there too hot. Normally you get a bit of warning when the front is going to tuck, but I had nothing. I was already looking through at the next corner and then I was down. I broke the footpeg off but came back to the pits and went out again and salvaged a couple of points, which might prove valuable at the end of the year.”