With Colin Edwards recovering from injuries sustained at the Catalunya Grand Prix, Cal Crutchlow was carrying the hopes of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team as well as the patriotic British crowd, but the MotoGP rookie ended today's qualifying session in the medical centre.
The home favourite crashed at turn two on just his third lap of the session and after a heavy landing on his left shoulder, was diagnosed with a fractured left collarbone and a concussion, ruling him out of the 20-lap race in front of his home crowd.
Team manager Herve Poncharal expressed his sadness that the British supporters wouldn't be able to watch their hero tomorrow but is hopeful that Crutchlow will be back in action at Assen in two weeks.
“Cal’s injury is a very big disappointment and I feel really sorry for him because he was desperate to do well in his home race here at Silverstone. He’s been fast all weekend, so we had high hopes that he could get a good place on the grid and be challenging for the top six in the race. But track conditions were quite cold and it was obvious from looking at the TV pictures that the tyre wasn’t up to temperature. He is in pain right now but I think he is more upset than anything else because he wanted to put on a good show for the British fans”.
“A lot of people have come to support him and he didn’t want to let anybody down. Our luck seems to have completely deserted us at the moment when you think it was only eight days ago that Colin broke his right collarbone. I suppose the only small consolation for Cal is that Colin was back on the bike less than a week later, so we are optimistic that Cal will be back for the next race at Assen”.
Colin Edwards did provide some cheer for the team with a brave ride to eighth place in qualifying, just a week after suffering a collarbone injury of his own, but revealed that it was actually a different part of his body that was giving him trouble on Saturday.
“My shoulder feels pretty much perfect but my ribs are killing me and that’s the biggest issue at the moment. I feel worse physically than I did yesterday but when I crashed at Catalunya I pulled some of the muscle away from my ribs and I’m finding it hard to do anything. If I breathe, cough, sneeze or do anything it hurts. So on the bike I just don’t have the strength I need to flick the bike in the fast changes of direction. I’ve got to take my time and be nice and smooth, but to get on the third row is a great result considering this time last week I was lying in a hospital in Barcelona with my right collarbone smashed to pieces.”
The Texan also praised the Tech 3 squad for aiding him in his recovery and is looking forward to seeing his teammate making a similar recovery before the next round in the Netherlands.
“I’m feeling confident for the race but I know it is going to be a big effort. But I’ll grit my teeth and do my best as always and show there’s plenty of fight in this old dog. I was determined to ride this weekend for the Team. My guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 are awesome and they’ve been an unbelievable support to me in the past few years. So I want to race and get a good result for them more than anything. I’m gutted too for Cal. I know what he’s going through unfortunately and I’m really sorry that he’s going to miss his home race. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back giving me a hard time on track in Assen.”
Herve Poncharal was full of praise for his rider and added that his qualifying result was the least he deserved after his painful state of fitness.
“Colin has produced a super human effort to qualify on the third row and his courage and determination has been an inspiration to everybody in the whole Team. At one stage it looked like he might even finish in the top six, which would have been a great reward for him and his Team.”