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Silverstone Stories Part 3: Your chance to meet MotoGP racer Cal Crutchlow

Spend Friday afternoon practice with Cal Crutchlow’s LCR Honda team

 

Mat Oxley is one of the most experienced, trusted and respected journalists in the MotoGP paddock. A former Motor Cycle News (MCN) GP Reporter, Mat has raced around the world and claimed an Isle of Man TT win along with multiple TT podium finishes.

He’s been working in the Grand Prix paddock for more than 30 years and his contacts within the racing teams are among the best in the world.

We asked Mat to pick out his favourite motorcycle GP racing moments from the long history of the track and he has chosen three. The third and final choice he has made is the day in 2016 when home-grown hero Cal Crutchlow held off the challenge from the best riders in the world at Silverstone.

You can share your own Silverstone Stories on our Facebook page and everyone who shares a story will be in with a chance of meeting Cal Crutchlow and spending a Friday practice session in his LCR Honda pit box.

All you have to do is share your favourite racing moment from any year the World Championship has been held at the Silverstone circuit to be entered into a prize draw.

To be in with a chance of winning, visit the Silverstone Facebook page and post your own Silverstone Stories on the official Silverstone Facebook post. You must use the hashtag  #SilverstoneStories

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Silverstone 2016: Crutchlow beats Rossi and Marquez

Cal Crutchlow has already proven he can beat the world’s best; now can he do it at his home race?

By Mat Oxley

CalCal Crutchlow won his third MotoGP race earlier this year in Argentina. It was his first victory since 2016, when he won the Czech and Australian GPs and beat Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez in a vicious skirmish for second place at Silverstone. That season was his best ever, until this year’s, when the Briton is racing up front more regularly than ever before.

The Crutchlow/Rossi/Marquez Silverstone battle of September 2016 was one of the most thrilling of recent years, even though it wasn’t for the win.

While Maverick Vinales cleared off for his first MotoGP victory, all hell broke loose behind him, with Crutchlow, Rossi, Marquez and Andrea Iannone locking horns. This battle royal was typical of the kind of dust-ups encouraged by Silverstone’s mega-fast, super-wide layout which gives riders the room to choose different lines and attack corners side by side.

The skirmish swung this way and that. At first Marquez seemed to have the upper hand but he had chosen the wrong front tyre and was suddenly struggling. Then Rossi moved into second place, but he didn’t have the speed to escape the clutches of the others.

At one point Rossi and Marquez got involved in a no-holds-barred duel that reawakened memories of Sepang 2015. “But this was different,” said Rossi later. “Because this time both of us had the same target.”

Next it was Crutchlow’s turn to rough up Marquez, pulling off one of the greatest overtakes of his career, up the inside as the pair powered through Woodcote, rear tyres burning rubber onto the start/finish straight. But Marquez came back at the Briton on the penultimate lap, the pair rubbing elbows at 200mph on Hangar straight, Marquez running wide as he braked for Stowe, which relegated him to fourth, while Crutchlow beat Rossi to the line by half a second.

“I think we deserved this result and I think the fans deserved this result,” grinned Crutchlow before climbing the podium. “The fans at Silverstone have backed me through thick and thin over the years, even though most of the time I’ve ended up in hospital, so to stand on the podium for them is fantastic.”

The big question, of course, is this: can Crutchlow go one better this year? The answer is a definite maybe. He is riding better than ever and his bike is better than ever, not only because he’s now an HRC-contracted rider, but also because Honda’s RC213V is the best it’s ever been, thanks to HRC’s recent upgrades that make the bike both faster and easier to ride.

Two years ago Crutchlow made history when he became the first Briton to win a premier-class motorcycle Grand Prix in 35 years. So far, no British rider has ever won the big race at the British GP. That’s another piece of history he will want to write, ideally this August.

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