Super seventh for Crutchlow, Edwards targets Silverstone return
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow heads to his crucial home race at Silverstone next weekend brimming with confidence after he stormed to a career best MotoGP result in the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya today.
Starting from the second row of the grid, the British rider quickly gained momentum on Bridgetone's hard rear tyre and a series of consistently fast laps saw him easily reel in the factory Ducati of 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden. He eventually passed the American on lap ten and was able to comfortably pull away, despite some nervous moments from the halfway stage as spots of rain started to fall on the Montmelo circuit.
Crutchlow was preparing for his first experience of the flag-to-flag format, but the light rain abated and he rode to a brilliant seventh place. The result, which moves Crutchlow into the top ten in the World Championship rankings on 30-points, sets him up perfectly for a strong showing in front of his home crowd at the British Grand Prix next weekend.
Crutchlow will be joined at Silverstone by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards, who will attempt to compete in the sixth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
Edwards returned to the Catalunya track this morning having undergone successful surgery to insert a titanium plate and 13 screws in the right collarbone he broke in a heavy crash during Friday's second free practice session. Edwards has already gained closed to full movement in his right shoulder and in a brave attempt to continue his proud record of never missing a race in his MotoGP career, Edwards planned to start the 25-lap clash and retire after two laps.
But after medical checks prior to the race, medical staff declared him unfit to start, though the 37-year-old is confident he will have no problems riding in Silverstone this weekend after a few days of rest.
Position 7th Time +26.483
That's my best result in MotoGP and of course I'm happy, but I'd rather have got a result like that in a more entertaining race. It was just a test of concentration for most of the race once I'd passed Nicky and it was quite lonely. I caught him really quickly but once I got by I'd used up my rear tyre trying to chase him down because I struggled for grip after that. When the spots of rain came it was quite difficult. The white flags were being waved like there was a monsoon but there was only rain in the last three corners. Part of me was looking forward to having a flag-to-flag race because it might have given me a chance of fighting with the group at the front, but the rain never got worse than a few spots on the visor. I still managed to pull away from Nicky but I finished 26 seconds behind Casey, and that is not too bad considering I'd never seen this place before. If I hadn't backed off a little I'm sure I could have finished about 20 seconds back and that was good enough for the top six last year. Sixth to eighth position is where I'm at the moment but it is a good confidence boost as well to finish as the top non-factory rider. Nobody can ride this package harder than I am at the moment and now I'm looking forward to Silverstone. I'm sure the support is going to be incredible and I'm really looking forward to it."
“I'm a little bit disappointed with the decision not to let me ride because while it's not a lifelong ambition never to miss a MotoGP race, it was a run I was pretty proud of. I understand the decision but my shoulder feels great. Dr Xavier Mir has done an amazing job on my collarbone because it was smashed, but it was never my intention to do the full race. I just wanted to start, do a couple of laps and pull in. I only considered it because I was here in Barcelona and it seemed pointless breaking the streak. But I'm too big and too old to get upset and I'm going to rest up now and concentrate on getting ready for Silverstone. I know I can race next weekend and I'm already looking forward to it. I can't remember the last time I missed a race and I definitely don't like watching on TV, so I'm desperate to get back working with my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
"Seventh is a good result for Cal and the best we can hope for. The six in front of him are on all factory machinery and I think even with a better start, it would have been a big ask for him to fight with Simoncelli. But to chase down Nicky on a factory bike, pass him and then pull away quite comfortably, is still a big scalp for Cal. It is easy to forget he is a rookie but seventh is his best result so far and it couldn't have come at a better time with his home race at Silverstone coming next weekend. We are also looking forward to having Colin back in action at Silverstone. I can understand his desire to ride today and at 37 with all he's achieved in his career, his determination and commitment is amazing. But we have to remember he was only operated on yesterday and he respects the decision of the medical staff. He will be stronger at Silverstone and it will be great to see Colin and Cal back on track together doing their best for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”
-source: tech 3 yamaha