Crutchlow: Fast & Furious at WSBK Brno
For the fourth time this season, Cal Crutchlow dominated Superpole at Brno, Round 9 of the World Superbike Championship, giving him more pole positions in four out of nine races than any other competitor.
Additionally, the Yamaha Sterilgarda rider smashed the Brno lap record, piloting his YZF-R1 to a time over three-tenths faster than the previous record held by Troy Bayliss (2008). But though the speed is there, Crutchlow has yet to capitalize on his quickness, not taking one win of the 2010 World SBK season.
Brno exemplifies this: During race one, Crutchlow made a strong start, taking race favorite Max Biaggi on the second lap for second place. He then set about chasing down race leader HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider Johnny Rea, and was gradually closing in on him when his grip started to drop after several laps.
Despite the difficulty, Crutchlow kept his focus and managed to hold off the advances of Biaggi until just four laps from the end, initially rebuffing the Italian’s attempts to pass before finally surrendering second. He crossed the line in third just four seconds from the lead, and took the fastest lap of the race award, scoring a 1:59.964 on his third lap.
During race two, disaster struck for Crutchlow. A defective rear tire saw the British rider gradually drop back to seventh before pulling in to avoid a crash. The motorcycle tire was changed and Crutchlow rejoined, delivering yet again the fastest lap of the race with an incredible 1:59.291, making up a couple of places to finish in 14th.
Cal Crutchlow says: “I’m disappointed to be honest, I knew we had the pace this weekend to win. The first race didn’t go too much to plan, we had a bit of a problem with rear grip so we made a change for the second race which I thought was going to be really good.”
“I did 12 laps on the rear tire and to be honest I was just about to crash so I had to pull into change it. The tire looked brand new after 12 laps where it should have looked worn. We did the last eight laps on a brand new tire, I did the fastest lap of the race and the tire looked perfect. I’m disappointed I couldn’t take it to the front guys but that’s racing, we’ll go to Silverstone now and make up for it.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Sterilgarda WSBK Team Manager) says: “We had an up and down weekend, it’s been frustrating again that we’ve had the speed and pace to achieve great results but issues outside of our control have prevented us. Today during race one Cal didn’t have the confidence to find the same speed as yesterday but still a podium was still good.”
“Race two was a very different situation where James after a really bad start did a really great job, going from last position to fourth at the end. Cal had a problem with a defective rear tire and he had to stop to change the tire. He then proved that he was probably the fastest man there.”