Cal Crutchlow: Bring In The Brit
British. Motorcycling. Both defined by speed. Experiencing a very long drought to win in the premiere class of fastest motorcycle race. Last person to win was Barry Sheen and he did it in Sweden 32 years ago.
A couple of weeks back, he placed second in a very wet track at LeMans, France. Riding under immense pain due to an injury in his shin bone, he made the most out of his disadvantaged machine and the treacherous weather. He was off by five seconds from giving his proud country men a taste of a premiere class win and only placed second behind the solid performance of Dani Pedrosa. Nevertheless, his English MotoGP fans saw a glimmer of hope that he may be the one to bring them back the glory.
He followed this performance with another convincing podium finish by riding consistently at Mugello. Aided as well by the unforced error on the part of Marc Marquez allowed him to become the first British national to take back to back podium finishes since 1987.
Cal Crutchlow epitomizes the characteristics of a true racer. Despite the disadvantage in machinery, he rides with grit and grunt from the free practices to the actual race day. He squeezes every juice available from a machine that can be deemed last year’s leftovers from the factory Yamaha. In the course of the race, you would be amazed at the daring and bold moves he makes to get ahead of the rider in front of him. Last year, this extraordinary passes either resulted in him making an error, or crashing out of the race. It is by far different this year, as we’re seeing him metamorphosed to the level of an alien – the term used to ascribe to the level of reigning premiere class champion Jorge Lorenzo and last year’s runner-up Dani Pedrosa.
What’s limiting Cal Crutchlow at the moment is the fact that he is using a far inferior bike comparing to his rivals in the current grid. He is known to be using essentially what Jorge Lorenzo used last year in his championship campaign. Yes, the Yamaha is a very good bike and a capable one especially in the hands of a willing rider. But the technical discrepancy is something that will make it difficult for Cal to challenge the might of the other aliens, notably Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Marquez and to some degree, Rossi.
Cal Crutchlow has rekindled the flame of hope among his MotoGP fans for a British to take the top step in the podium. Yes, there’s the noise being made by Scott Redding in the intermediate class, but it would take some time for this young lad to adapt to MotoGP once he gets in next year. Cal is the closest thing that British fans could rest their laurels upon. The challenge is there, but nonetheless, we know that there’s a rider using a disadvantaged bike to duke it out with the cream of the crop. He has all the skills on the track and pretty much it won’t be long before we see the drought of a Brit in the top podium end through this amazing rider.
By Angelo Anolin - MotoGP Correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing In the pictures: Cal Crutchlow Pictures from the web.