CRUTCHLOW UNHURT AFTER IRISH CRASH

2007-06-17 12:47
Rizla Suzuki racer Cal Crutchlow crashed out on the final lap of the second race while competing for a career best sixth place in today's sixth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in the Republic of Ireland.

In the opening race Cal dropped from fifth on the grid to 11th on lap two, before coming through to finish eighth. In the second event he got away in fourth and spent the whole race battling for the top six in his strongest showing in the Superbike class to date. On the last lap he crashed out unhurt while in seventh and challenging for sixth.

Chris Walker rode his first ever dry laps of the Mondello Park circuit in morning warm-up after two days of pouring rain. Both races were in the dry so it was a steep learning curve for the popular Nottingham rider and in race one despite a strong start he faded towards the end to finish ninth.

In the second race 'Stalker' was 11th and had just recorded his fastest lap when he ran off track and suffered a slow-speed fall, getting up and walking away uninjured but bitterly disappointed.

Ducati's Leon Haslam won the opening race and Honda's Jonathan Rea the second.
Rizla Suzuki returns to race action at Knockhill, near Edinburgh in Scotland, at the seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on Sunday, July 1st.

Cal Crutchlow:

"It's been a hard day for me and the Rizla Suzuki team. In the first race I was consistent and fast but a poor start cost me the chance to run further up the field.

"In the second race I was trying and pushing very hard to try and hold on to sixth. On the last lap I went into a long left-hander faster than ever before and lost the front end. I am disappointed - doubly so after crashing at the end of an otherwise good race. I will learn from this and come back stronger than ever at Knockhill."

Chris Walker:

"I got a good start in the first race but lost time as the laps went by because of a lack of track knowledge - today was my first time riding Mondello Park in the dry on a Superbike.
"In the second race I was mugged when the early safety car returned to pit lane and lost a couple of places. I was recovering and riding faster than ever when I ran off the track. I stayed upright through the gravel and grass but had to lay the bike down before hitting the tyre wall to minimise damage. We deserved better results today."

Simon Buckmaster- Team Manager:

"It's been a spectacularly tough day for Rizla Suzuki and both its riders. Cal put in the most impressive race performance of his Superbike career in race two only to crash out on the final lap. He's rightly disappointed but remains unbowed and more determined than ever to do well at the next round. His day will come.

"Stalker showed real flashes of brilliance in both races but ultimately a lack of track knowledge caught him out.

"We all want to see Rizla Suzuki fighting at the front in BSB and that's something the whole team will be working on before Knockhill."

Race One Result: 1: Leon Haslam (Ducati) 30:02.146, 2: Shane Byrne (Honda) +0.158, 3: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +3.491, 4: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +9.793, 5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +14.786, 6: Karl Harris (Honda) +18.354, 7: Leon Camier (Honda) +18.443, 8: Cal Crutchlow (Rizla Suzuki) +18.685, 9: Chris Walker (Rizla Suzuki) +25.572, 10: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +44.003.

Race Two Result:1: Rea 30:14.164, 2: Byrne +2.344, 3: Lavilla +2.460, 4: Haslam +3.321, 5: Kiyonari +8.121, 6: Camier +13.898, 7: Tom Sykes (Honda) +14.354, 8: Harris +21.447, 9: Hill +23.490, 10: Scott Smart (Kawasaki) +38.995. Chris Walker (Rizla Suzuki) DNF. Cal Crutchlow (Rizla Suzuki) DNF.

Championship Positions (after five of 13 rounds): 1: Kiyonari 212, 2: Lavilla 211, 3: Rea 187, 4: Haslam 169, 5: Camier 136, 6: Byrne 127, 7: Sykes 115, 8=: Chris Walker (Rizla Suzuki), Hill 83, 10: Harris 65, 11: Cal Crutchlow (Rizla Suzuki) 51.

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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