Cal Crutchlow: British MotoGP rider on 10 years on the grid

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Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow was the first British rider since Barry Sheene to win in MotoGP

Cal Crutchlow is “at peace” with the possibility of leaving MotoGP at the end of the season and says he has “exceeded my expectations” during his 10 years on the grid.

He became the first British rider to win a premier-class grand prix in 35 years when he won at Brno in 2016.

“I’m content with where I’m at and looking forward to whatever the future brings,” he said.

“I’ll always love motorcycle racing. I’m at peace with where I am at with riding or not riding next year.”

‘A privilege to win’

With three races left of the season, Crutchlow has three grand prix wins to his name and remains the only Briton since former world champion Barry Sheene to stand on top of the podium.

His best campaign came in 2013 when he finished fifth in the championship, while the last of his 18 podiums came in Australia last year.

“I don’t intend to not ride next year, it just depends what options come available,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’ve had 10 great years in MotoGP, exceeded my expectations of what I would ever do. I’ve had ups and down but I wouldn’t change any of it.

“It was a privilege to win and humbling to be mentioned in the same sentence as Barry Sheene.

“I felt that I deserved to win. I was the British guy who had put the work in over the years to be there. I led the championship, which was a big thing – not many people can say that.”

Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow, Marc Marquez
Just the 148 race wins between them – Crutchlow finished ahead of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez in that first win in Brno in 2016

‘I was riding with one arm’

Before the start of the truncated 2020 season, Crutchlow told BBC Sport: “We can’t afford to get injured because we have so many races back to back.

Unfortunately, he has not heeded his own advice, with a shoulder injury his latest ailment going into the final three races.

Injuries have – as Crutchlow predicted – had a huge impact on the season, with Spain’s six-time champion Marc Marquez missing most of it with a broken arm.

“The shoulder is pretty average,” Crutchlow said. “This year, it’s been my wrist, my arm, my finger, my ankle, my knee…

“Now I’ve snapped the ligament in the back of the shoulder. It was frayed, hanging on by a thread. I’ve had no pain from it over the years. I just felt a pop in my shoulder at Aragon and I knew that something was snapped, 100%. It’s pulled the cartilage off the bone.

“A lot of people wouldn’t have been able to race with the injuries I’ve had. They would have missed the season.”

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