Cal Crutchlow’s Sepang MotoGP started badly and went downhill as the LCR Honda man suffered with a lack of power off the start and then grip issue which eventually caused him to crash on lap 14.
Crutchlow went down at the last corner after being passed by rookie Suzuki rider Joan Mir as he was having to put too much stress on the front Michelin in order to try and stop but the Briton’ woes began as soon as the lights went out.
“I got the best start on the whole grid and when I shifted gears I had no power. Last week I got an absolute rocket start in Phillip Island and it seems the power today was the same. I got the best jump off the line you could have asked for, but as soon as I shifted to second it was just not going anywhere,” said the Isle of Man resident.
“I had five or six bikes go past me there, then I got pushed wide at turn one and three more bikes went past me. So I was eleventh on the first lap and already in trouble.
I felt good in FP4 yesterday, even though the lap time was not good, it was a really used tyre. It just seems that our setting was for a grippier track and I didn’t have any grip at all today.
“I couldn’t stop the bike, as you saw in the last corner. I was locking the rear and then pushing the front, so you lock the front.”
Crutchlow believes his problem was down to track temperature which was down from free practice three.
“We have to lean the bike a little bit to decelerate and I couldn’t lean the bike to decelerate. As soon as I started to lean the bike, this is what happened. Yesterday I leaned the bike to decelerate a lot better than today and that just seems to be down to the grip conditions.
“I was in that group for eighth place, but eighth is not where I expected to finish today. I couldn’t stop the bike and I couldn’t get out the corners. I expected to finish in the top five and, even not feeling great, I think with a better start maybe we could have been further up. I just got beat-up on the first lap and that was it.
“The last time I crashed the bike was in Misano, so today was actually a little bit of a shock to crash because I thought I was going to see the flag at least. We’re disappointed but we have to take note that I’ve had a sixth, a fifth and a second in the last races and felt good in those races. We have to go to Valencia more positive than what our outcome was today.”