Cal Crutchlow was once again left to bemoan a lack of grip after trailing home in 14th in today's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. The Briton has struggled for confidence with the YZR-M1 Yamaha all weekend and the problem reared its head again just 24 hours after a heavy crash in qualifying.
Despite the issues, Crutchlow managed to work his way up to 11th after a race-long battle with Randy de Puniet but a mistake five laps from home saw him surrender the place, with Hector Barbera and Karel Abraham also sneaking through.
It brought a disappointing end to one of Crutchlow's toughest MotoGP events to date and the Tech 3 rider is hoping to fight back next weekend at Laguna Seca.
“Obviously I can’t be happy to have finished 14th because I believe I should be fighting inside the top ten. But taking the positives out of a difficult race, I was able to fight for the whole race with riders that are a lot more experienced than me, and who have much more knowledge of this track. I really wanted to finish 11th but when I ran wide with a few laps remaining, it was always going to be an uphill battle to get back three places on a track like this that is tight and twisty. But I didn’t give up and I pushed as hard as I could right to the end and nearly recovered a couple of places.”
“I just didn’t have enough grip from the front or the rear and it was difficult. I didn’t feel I could push any harder and it strange because we made a lot of big changes to the bike this weekend without ever really finding an improvement. We’ve learned a few things that will help in the future and now I’m looking forward to getting to Laguna Seca where I’ll be aiming to get back inside the top ten.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal opted to focus on the positives and added that Crutchlow will benefit from the experience, even if there was little by way of reward today.
“Cal finished 14th and he is not happy with that. I think he has learned a lot today and after a tough period it means something to finally see the chequered flag. I don’t want to say that we are happy to finish 14th, but I think together with Randy and the other Ducatis he has been learning a few things. Cal has done some really good performances in the beginning of the season, but we should never forget that it is a learning year and he has to understand that if he has to finish 14th like today, it is all about learning from that experience. The target we are working on this season is that he becomes a better MotoGP rider, even if sometimes he doesn’t get the result he expects.”