Cal Crutchlow raced to a thoroughly deserved top 10 finish in today’s GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini in hot and humid conditions at the Misano circuit.
And Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Colin Edwards claimed his eighth successive top 10 finish, despite encountering an uncomfortable arm pump issue in the second half of the 28-lap race.
Today’s race proved to be a major test of physical endurance with hot and humid conditions dominating the 13th round of the World Championship. Super-fit Crutchlow needed to call on all his reserves of energy to claim his first top ten finish since he was a brilliant seventh in the Catalunya round.
He was inside the top 10 on only the third lap, Crutchlow expertly navigating pockets of light rain that had started to fall on sections of the track while the riders formed on the grid.
The British rider put immense pressure on Alvaro Bautista for the opening 16-laps before he took ninth from Edwards on lap 21. Hector Barbera dropped him back to ninth on lap 25 but Crutchlow refused to settle for 10th position and he launched a sustained attack on the Spaniard in the closing stages. Crutchlow gave his maximum effort but couldn’t find a way by Barbera, who clinched ninth by just over 0.2s.
Today’s race turned out to be a difficult experience for Edwards, who battled with factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies for the first eight laps. The 37-year-old experienced a severe arm pump issue from lap 21 onwards. The demanding humidity and hard braking zones at the 2.626 miles circuit only made the issue worse for Edwards, who bravely rode on despite the considerable discomfort.
His courage and determination was rewarded with 13th position, a result which retains Edwards’ position as the leading non-factory rider in the standings heading to the Motorland Aragon in Spain.
Cal Crutchlow 10th – 45 points:
“I am really pleased with the race and it is my first top 10 for a long time, so that is a good boost for my confidence. Finishing 10th was three places better than my qualifying position, so it was a positive outcome. It could have been a slightly better result but I just got pipped by Barbera right at the end. I did everything I could to get by him but I had a little issue with the rear tyre. Corner entry was really difficult at the end, so I didn’t feel like I could really push and have a go to overtake him with any confidence. His bike had a little more speed than me, so I just couldn’t get close enough to have a go. My race pace was good enough for fifth in last year’s race but this year it was good enough for 10th. It just shows how far the pace has moved on and how tough it is in MotoGP. It was an unbelievably hard race for the body too. The humidity was incredible and I’m glad I do so many training miles on my bicycle because it was a real case of survival of the fittest out there. It was good that we gained a lot more experience and got another decent finish and now I can look forward to building on this result at the Motorland Aragon.”
Colin Edwards 13th – 87 points:
“I’ve got no excuses, today’s result was nothing to do with anything else but me. I’ve no idea but for whatever reason, I just always ride so tense at this track. I kept telling myself that I needed to relax and calm down and then on the grid there’s a few rain drops in the air, so that immediately means you can’t help but be tense because you’ve no idea how hard it is coming down on other parts of the track. The front-end geometry change we made to the bike for Saturday morning made the bike feel a bit heavier and harder to change direction. I pushed as hard as I could for the first ten laps and was pretty close to Ben (Spies) and then it hit me like a pile of bricks. I got such bad arm pump I couldn’t feel the front brake or the handlebars and by the end I was just moving my arms in the direction I thought they needed to go. I’ve never had arm pump that bad and to be honest I didn’t realise you could get it that bad. It got to a point where almost pulled in. But I gritted my teeth and thought I could probably get a couple of points, which we did. But it was a complete nightmare and all I can do is put today behind and try and bounce at the Motorland Aragon in a couple of weeks.”
Hervé Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Although qualifying was difficult for Cal he had a good start and pushed really hard all through the race and I’m very pleased with his performance. He managed to catch Colin and pass him but he lost a little bit of time and that gave Barbera and Aoyama the possibility to catch him back. Then there was a really good fight between those three and I think at the end, although Barbera finished in front of him, it was a good experience for Cal. I am sure he has learnt a lot in the race and the top 10 is what we were looking for this year, so we are happy. Colin started the race really well and for the first third of the race he was really strong and pushing close to Ben. At that point we were hoping for a strong result but then I saw his time dropping and we did not really understand why. We thought maybe it was the tyre or something like that as the lap time was getting very slow. But when he came back to the garage we found out that he had an arm pump problem on both arms and they went almost numb and he could not feel anything. At some point he wanted to come into the pits, but he carried on to finish the race and get some points and I want to thank him for that and never giving up.”
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