|Crutchlow got his third ever MotoGP podium at Le Mans
Photo: Yamaha Tech3
Monster Energy Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow enjoyed his best ever MotoGP result at Le Mans today, securing second position in wet conditions.
Just 24 hours after a crash in FP4 in which he fractured his right shin, the wet conditions helped the 27 year old by easing the stress put on his body. Crutchlow was down in seventh position on the opening lap, but a series of fastest laps soon pushed him through the field. Visibility proved to be a problem for Crutchlow, however he soon gained confidence and was able to fight Valentino Rossi for third position on lap 13. With just 5 laps to go, Cal was up with previous race leader Andrea Dovizioso who soon cracked under the pressure and slipped behind his former teammate, leaving Crutchlow in second position.
Crutchlow is the first British rider to finish in 2nd in MotoGP since Simon Buckmaster in 1989 and was pleased with his courageous performance today “I’m really happy to get my best ever result in MotoGP and the whole team did an incredible job and deserves this result. We showed our fast pace in the dry, we showed our pace in the wet and I think everybody is aware we are not here through luck. It’s even better and more important because this is the home race for Tech 3 and Monster Energy sponsors the event. So to be the best and only Yamaha on the podium feels really good. My start was not the best and it took me a bit of time to get temperature into the tyres. But once I managed that I felt really comfortable. When I saw Andrea and Dani opening a small gap to Valentino I had to make a move because I was afraid they would be too far ahead to try and catch later in the race. And when I saw Marquez recovering time on my pit board I had to pass Andrea otherwise he might have caught both of us during the last laps. I’m really happy with how things went, especially after the crash yesterday. The wet track obviously put less stress on my body but it was tough riding injured in such tough conditions. From now on I just hope we can be injury free and go to Mugello to put on the same show as we did here today.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Tech3 teammate Bradley Smith put in an impressive performance on his YZR-M1, coming back from being dead last at turn one to finish the race in ninth position.
Le Mans was Smith’s first ever MotoGP race in the wet and it didn’t take long for his confidence to grow in the slippery conditions, after a big rear tyre slide hindered the 22 year old coming off the line Smith re-grouped and worked his way through the pack to equal his best finish of the season.
Smith’s top ten finish means he now lies in 11th position in the championship and is already looking ahead to Mugello in two weeks time“Today was a really good learning experience. I’d hardly ridden the YZR-M1 in the rain before, so to get 28 laps under my belt in really tricky conditions was obviously an experience that taught me a lot. During the race I was able to ride a lot smoother and I hope I can carry over something from this experience to the dry in the future. I’m a little bit disappointed with the start of the race. I had a problem with the clutch in the warm up but we were sure it was just because this was my first start in the wet but apparently it was not. But after the first 10 laps to the end of the race I had a very good pace and I’m happy with the improvement made during the whole weekend with ninth position in qualifying and also ninth in the race. That’s my best MotoGP result and gives my confidence another lift, so now I’m really looking forward to going to Mugello, which is a track I can’t wait to ride a MotoGP bike on. Congratulations also to Cal. He rode an awesome race and in an important race for Tech 3 and Monster Energy it was great to see both of us having such a positive result.”