Cal Crutchlow admits he will take a major confidence boost from beating Valentino Rossi after a race-long battle during today's Aragon Grand Prix. Rossi fought his way up to ninth after starting from the pitlane but Crutchlow responded, eventually taking the position with a sensational move around the outside of turn one five laps from home.
Crutchlow moved up two places to 13th in the championship with his result today, capping off an excellent day for the Briton who feels the experience gained is just as valuable as the points.
“I’m really pleased with how the race went today because I was back inside the top and having a really good and enjoyable fight with two of the best riders on the grid, who have had a lot of success in Grand Prix racing. It is a shame that I lost a couple of places at the first corner because I’m sure with a better start I could have been battling with Bautista and Hayden. I got on the inside on the dirty part of the track and when I braked I locked the front wheel and nearly crashed.”
“What pleases me the most is that I could make up for the lack of speed on the straight in the corners because the Yamaha handles brilliantly and my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team gave me a really good bike today. But to hold off Valentino and Hiroshi at the end took a massive effort. I think if they’d started the final lap in front of me on the straight it would have been hard for me to slipstream. There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend because I’ve got back in the top 10 on a track I’d never seen before and beaten two guys with a lot more experience than me. I gained a lot of experience today riding with Valentino and that has given me a lot of confidence for the next few races.”
Herve Poncharal, Team Manager of Monster Yamaha Tech 3, believes Crutchlow is now riding as well as he did at the start of the season and can only get better after today's experience.
“I am really pleased to see Cal back in the top 10 and riding with the same confidence that he showed in the first part of the season. I think it was the best ride of the year for him. Maybe not in terms of the final position, but the way he rode was fantastic. The start was difficult, but he never gave up and what was really good is that he was riding with Valentino and Hiroshi and he would have learned a lot from those two. Today he could battle with a nine times World Champion and I’m sure that will do a lot for his confidence in the future. He didn’t only race with them but he beat them and that makes it even more satisfying. With a better start it is not unrealistic to imagine he could have been with Bautista and Hayden, but ninth position is still a very positive result.”