Cal Crutchlow: I was playing with MotoGP rivals in Brno win

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow says he was simply playing with his MotoGP rivals as he won the Czech Grand Prix, after mastering his tyre strategy in changeable conditions

Cal Crutchlow: I was playing with MotoGP rivals in Brno win

Crutchlow came from 10th on the grid to become the first British rider to win a premier class motorcycle grand prix since Barry Sheene at Anderstorp in August 1981.

BRNO RACE REPORT: Crutchlow ends British drought

His win was built on a switch from soft wet tyres to the hard compound on the grid, one of two riders to make that call, while Yamaha went for the halfway house of the soft front and hard rear.

Crutchlow ran as low as 15th but as the track dried he carved his way through the field, moved into the lead with seven laps left and went on to win by seven seconds.

"I made the best tyre choice on the grid," he said.

"I was playing with them. I had so much grip compared to the other guys that had not had the same tyre choice as me.

"I was cruising around, I made the right choice and I knew the race would come to me in the end.

"It was really difficult in the first five laps, the rear tyre on the left-hand-side was really difficult to heat, but then once it started to dry it was perfect."

Crutchlow admitted he had a scare four laps from home at Turn 10, and was wary of the threat from Valentino Rossi, who caught the lead pack while Crutchlow was working to pass Ducati's Andrea Iannone.

"I looked on the big screen and I thought I saw Valentino and I said, 'OK, I have to go now, because I'm in trouble'," he said.

"I didn't know if Vale had the hard front tyre, so I started to push a little and then I saw the gap going up.

"It was 1.5s, and then a few laps later it was four seconds. But with four laps to go I nearly crashed.

"Then I just thought, 'now calm down', but I was just cruising around."

HONOUR TO BE MENTIONED WITH SHEENE

Crutchlow's drought-breaking victory came on the day that Scottish rider John McPhee won his maiden grand prix in Moto3, and Englishman Sam Lowes finished third in Moto2.

He acknowledged the timing was ideal, with the British GP next up in a fortnight, and joked that he now wants a cut of Silverstone's ticket sales.

"John's worked really hard over these years to be competitive," he said. "He's been on a difficult machine a few times over the years.

"Sam said to me he's crashed in every wet race in six years. So he did a good job to finish today.

"It's an incredible day for British riders and great to go to Silverstone with that hype.

"Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO] reminded me that it was 35 years since Barry Sheene won a grand prix - and even to be mentioned in the same sentence as Barry Sheene is something really nice."

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Brno MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow becomes first British winner since 1981
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