Dovizioso tactics left Crutchlow 'swearing in his helmet'

Cal Crutchlow said he was "swearing in my helmet" during the Japanese Grand Prix, as race leader Andrea Dovizioso's strategy allowed several riders to catch up with the leading group.

Dovizioso tactics left Crutchlow 'swearing in his helmet'

Crutchlow spent the majority of the Motegi race grouped up with leader Dovizioso and Marc Marquez, even taking second place from the latter for a handful of laps.

The trio established an early lead, but Valentino Rossi and Suzuki duo Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins all caught up with them eventually.

Crutchlow said this was caused by Dovizioso dictating the pace in front, and admitted he was "swearing in his helmet" as he had felt the top three had to the pace to build a gap over the rest.

"If I would have got a run at him [Dovizioso] I would have tapped him at the leg saying, 'come on, push push' because we could have used the tyre then and broke the guys behind, I think," said Crutchlow, who finished second after Dovizioso crashed out.

"I was swearing a little bit in my helmet, not at him, just in general at the situation."

"My concern was the guys coming back. There was a group 1.7s behind and in three laps they catch us because they [Dovizioso and Marquez] slow down the pace."

Crutchlow said that mixing up the pace has been Dovizioso's strategy in the past couple of races, and explained that it was difficult to overtake the Ducati even when it was on a slower lap.

"It is just a pattern you see. Even when the Ducati does a slow lap, the way it accelerates off the corner is really strong so it is really difficult to get a run past them.

"You just look the laptime in every race. He can do [1m]45.8s, [1m]45.7s and the next lap he does a [1m]46.5s, it is a big difference.

"Now we sort of see the full pattern, we know we have to attack him even more.

"I don't know why they do it, I don't know if it is him, but that is their strategy.

"That was why I was trying to get to the front. Even when he does an average laptime, it is so difficult to get a run to get past him. Then he ramps up the pace again."

Crutchlow could only hold second place for two laps before Marquez took it back.

He said he didn't pass Dovizioso at the time because he was "concerned" about riding at the front, but admitted that in hindsight he would've been better off leading.

"The race was a strange one. I felt good, the problem was, I should have went for the lead early on.

"I was a little bit concerned about our power strategy, how I would press buttons alone on the bike.

"I decided to sit behind Dovi, I passed Marc and I thought, if I can pass Dovi, then the two can fight it out and they are okay.

"Then I was looking to pass Dovi and Marc passed me back. I thought 'okay, now leave them to it a little bit'.

"I was still close to Marc but I wanted to keep half a second, simply because I did not want to run along him in one of those braking zones in Honda's home grand prix, with Marc challenging for the title."

shares
comments
Marquez says he "provoked" Dovizioso's Motegi crash
Previous article

Marquez says he "provoked" Dovizioso's Motegi crash

Next article

Rossi: Suzuki is stronger than Yamaha now

Rossi: Suzuki is stronger than Yamaha now
Load comments
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021