Cal Crutchlow on strategy: “I always thought I’d be good at poker, but obviously I’d be s–t”

MotoGP LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow is a rider that shares his thoughts freely – a habit that came back to bite him during the Grand Prix in Assen.

There are so many moving parts during a MotoGP race, that it’s easy to get lost just trying to follow it all. Pace, maneuvers, pit strategy, tire and bike set-up, there’s an infinite number of variables for participants to contend with in order to find the most optimal level for themselves to achieve victory. With so many variables, there are equally many points of failure. But sometimes, it really all comes down to playing one’s hand too early – something that Cal Crutchlow is all too familiar with.

Crutchlow, the sole rider for the MotoGP LCR Honda team, has developed a sort of a reputation for speaking his mind whenever he gets the opportunity. While some may find his candidness to be grating, it’s impossible to argue that the Brit brings a welcome level of blunt speech and even charm to the MotoGP Paddock. Yet while Crutchlow wears his emotions on his sleeve, he could do well with learning how not to wear his race strategy alongside them as well.

Cal commented on his battle with fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez in Assen, a duel that showed Crutchlow with a real chance to come out as the winner over Marquez – if only he didn’t show his hand too soon. Crutchlow was the first to admonish himself, and all too eager to draw up the inevitable poker comparison:

“I lost the chance of a podium myself. I showed my hand and I shouldn’t have. I always thought I’d be good at poker, but obviously I’d be shit. I didn’t think it was that bad, honestly. It was raining, but my main problem was corner entry, because the tires dropped off quite a lot. But if I had started with them, I was confident I would have been there. But I wasn’t.”

– Cal Crutchlow

Cal moved on quickly to flash his unique sense of humor, as he called up a comparison between his past situation in the series and his current one, confessing that he found it funny to battle the current defending championship leader [Marquez] and beat the current one [Dovizioso]:

“But I’m happy enough to be battling. We’ve had a bad two races. In Mugello, me and Dani really struggled, and in the end we never finished. Then we got to Barcelona and I had a really big problem there. Apparently I had no problems according to many people and I just rode bad races.

But it’s funny how today, I’m battling with the previous championship leader, and I’m beating the current championship leader. I didn’t have a bad race today, I had problems in the last two races, and I didn’t have problems here.”

– Cal Crutchlow

When looking at the type of performance that Cruthcow turned out at the 2017 Assen race, it seems downright criminal that he’s not been given a proper seat at Honda but rather continues to struggle with inconsistent performance due to the satellite team’s lack of funding and support when compared to the factory team. Although, something tells us that should he keep up this sort of performance, he may well find himself in a factory seat very soon.

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