Cal Crutchlow is looking forward to getting his hands on Honda’s 2020 MotoGP™ racer after a strong performance at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.
At the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on which he won three years ago, the British star raced to second place behind World Champion Marc Marquez, after second-placed Maverick Vinales crashed out on the final lap.
It was a particularly strong performance from 34-year-old Crutchlow, who badly broke his leg in a crash at Phillip Island a year ago.
“An incredible race by Marc and Maverick,” he said. “I think that I did a good job, after what happened last year.
“Crashes don’t normally faze me; I get straight 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 the Grand Prix, thinking about it, thinking about what could happen, because it was a big crash.
“I have never really been injured, in that way, especially it could have been a career-ending crash. Actually, the surgeon that performed the operation, he was here this morning, and I thanked him for saving my career.
“At the start of the year, I didn’t know whether I would be able to ride at all. So to have one back at this Grand Prix is very, very special. It’s great to be on the podium with these two.”
Crutchlow has not had the pace he had been seeking this year, and has said in the past that he felt more comfortable on Honda’s 2018 MotoGP™ racer than he has on this year’s newer version.
“Obviously we have struggled a bit with this year’s bike, last year’s bike was turning better. We are struggling with the corner entry and the engine braking, and the turning of this year’s bike.
“On this circuit, I feel good and I am able to push. That does not mean I am not pushing on the other circuits; I am. I managed to get sixth place at Aragon and a fifth in Motegi last week. So these last races have not been too bad at all.
“Now we can look forward to Malaysia and Valencia and then to getting the 2020 bike.”
The P2 finish lifts Crutchlow to ninth in the MotoGP™ championship points.