LCR Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow overcame his haunting 2018 crash to claim a podium 12 months later at Phillip Island after his second-place finish.
The Honda man was quick off the line and lead in the early stages of the race lead the race, however, after a quarter of the race Crutchlow found himself before both Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales. The two Spaniards slowly started pulling away from the Brit, with third place looking at if he would take third place.
However, a crash on the final lap for Vinales whilst trying to take the lead saw Crutchlow promoted up to second place with Jack Miller taking the final podium spot in third.
“I think we did a good job after what happened last year,” said Crutchlow. “Crashes don’t normally faze me; I normally get back up and go faster straight away.
“But that crash last year has haunted me for the whole year. I was not happy coming to this Grand Prix thinking about it and what could happen. It was a big crash, I’ve never really been injured in that way, especially as it could’ve been a career ending crash.
“I actually had the surgeon here who performed my operation, he was here this morning and I thanked him for saving my career, as at the start of the year we didn’t know if I would be able to ride at all. So, to have some podiums, have one back at this Grand Prix is very, very special.
“It’s been a great job by my team, they’ve done a great job this weekend with the minimum amount of time we’ve had available. I didn’t have the perfect setting for the race, but I made it happen. I needed to try some things in warm up that could’ve been beneficial for the race, we also chose the wrong tyre for the race, but you don’t know until after.
“I knew I could manage the hard until the end and I knew I could do a good result with it. I thought the soft was a risk for me as I did no laps with it, other than the fast-qualifying laps. Then when these guys came past, I knew their tyre was better than mine, they could pick the bike up better, we were mine was spinning.
“The last five laps of the race it was completely destroyed, so I made sure I got it to the finish, I had a big gap behind me, so I just cruised the last five or six laps of the race. An incredible race by Marc and Maverick. It’s a shame Maverick crashed, and I took the second position.
“It’s great to be on the podium with these two, Jacky fighting like a knight in shining armour in all that kit. I called him and said just follow me, I’m going. Then when I saw his suit, I thought maybe it’s wasn’t the best idea as he looks like a bullet man coming through.”
Today saw some reward after a strong run of results for Crutchlow, with a podium on the back of two stronger races in Aragon and Motegi. Crutchlow said he is feeling happy going into the final few rounds before getting ready for 2020.
“Honestly, we’ve struggled a little bit more with this year’s bike,” he said.
“We know last year’s bike was turning a little bit better. We’re struggling with the corner entry, the engine braking, the turning of this year’s bike. Marc’s obviously not struggled as much and that’s just the way it is, sometimes you feel better, sometimes you don’t.
“This circuit I felt good and when I feel good, I’m able to push, it’s as simple as that. Doesn’t mean I’m not pushing at the other races, I’m just not as fast. But I had a good sixth place in Aragon, I should’ve gone with Jacky and the boys. I had a fifth in Motegi and now a second place here, so these last races have not been too bad at all. We now need to look forward to Malaysia and Valencia and then building the 2020 bike.”