Confident he could battle for a fifth podium of 2013 after securing pole position for the second time in his MotoGP career, Crutchlow was locked in an exciting battle with Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista in the early laps.
However, the 27-year-old tumbled out of fourth position on lap eight. The Briton rejoined the 22-lap race fighting through from the back of the field to take 17th at the chequered flag.
He reviewed the race saying, “I was happy with my pace and I felt comfortable but then I made a mistake. I was trying to get myself back in contention for the podium and I lost the front. I am sure I could have finished fourth but I got back on a damaged bike and set a fast and consistent pace. I never gave up.”
“It is not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I have the pace and that I can be challenging at the front.”
Smith was also optimistic that he could battle for a top six result after he too impressed with an outstanding qualifying performance yesterday. The rookie equalled his best grid position in sixth and he was running a strong pace behind Rossi, when he crashed at Turn 9 while occupying seventh.
Smith commented, “The race ended far too soon and it is not the way we wanted a positive weekend to end. I don’t feel I did anything different in that corner and I felt comfortable and the bike felt very good. The improvements we made on a full fuel tank made the bike much better in the early part of the race but I got caught out in Turn 9. The data showed I accelerated a fraction earlier and those small margins can make all the difference.”
“At least I don’t have to wait long for Silverstone,” added the man from Oxfordshire. “I’m disappointed with today but highly motivated to build on the positive points we gained here.”
For standings and results, click over to MotoGP.com.Bradley Smith, Brno, Cal Crutchlow, Czech Grand Prix, MotoGP