Cal Crutchlow faces biggest test in Silverstone MotoGP

BRITISH MOTOGP

Venue:
Silverstone
Date:
10-12 June
Saturday 11 June:
MotoGP qualifying 1250-1600 BST, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 12 June:
125cc race: 1105-1215; MotoGP live:1230-1430; Moto2 race: 1425-1525

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Crutchlow hopes to impress home fans

Cal Crutchlow admits he faces the biggest weekend of his career, as he prepares for Sunday's British MotoGP.

The 25-year-old has made a good start to MotoGP life but on Sunday, with just five grands prix under his belt, he rides in his first British Grand Prix.

"I grew up going to this race and to come here to Silverstone and race in one is massive," he told BBC Sport.

"It's not easy being the only Brit out there but I am going to do my best to make it a top weekend for everyone."

British bike fans have had a 30-year wait since the last British winner in an elite class race - Barry Sheene in Sweden in 1981, before Crutchlow was born.

But he hopes the support of the home crowd can work in his favour.

"When I go out on Sunday and there are 70,000 fans there to see me it will either inspire me or terrify me - but I am really looking forward to it," he said

Despite being a MotoGP newcomer, Coventry-born Crutchlow does have some experience of Sunday's venue.

Last year he won both World Superbike races on the Northamptonshire track and in a rookie season where he has had to play catch-up, he is relishing having some experience of where he will be racing.

"I usually spend the first day of each race having to learn which way the track goes so that is a head-start already," he said.

"I had pole position and won both races here last season but I don't think it will be that easy this year!

"It's a lot different to what I've been used to in the past but I expected that. I feel welcome in the paddock and we have done OK this far but there is room for improvement.

"I'd better not forget that they have moved the start/finish line and shut off halfway around a fast lap in qualifying. That's my biggest fear."

Crutchlow will for once be one step ahead of nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who is the only rider new to Silverstone, after he missed last year's race with a broken leg.

"I have had a go on the track on a road bike with a number plate and mirrors but it will be very, very different on a MotoGP bike," said Rossi.

"I have a lot of fans in England, I lived in London for seven years and it is always a pleasure to come here."

Crutchlow's Tech3 Yamaha team-mate, Colin Edwards, will join him on the grid just a week after breaking his collarbone, after the American passed a medical on Thursday.

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