MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow can be inspired by Silverstone fans
Last updated on .From the section MotoGP
It has been a big year for British biking and this weekend is a chance for us all to celebrate that fact at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
With the success of Cal Crutchlow, Scott Redding and Bradley Smith, we've not had it better since the halcyon days of my old team-mate Barry Sheene.
We pay tribute to Sheene this weekend with a parade lap to mark 10 years since his death and I hope the racing will also deliver some new memories for the home fans who will be there in their droves.
Sheene was the last British rider to win a premier-class grand prix. He won the 500cc race in Sweden in 1981 - four years before Crutchlow was born.
With the announcement which is expected this weekend that Scott Redding is moving up to MotoGP next year to join Crutchlow and Smith, it means there will be three British riders in 2014 who are all capable of top-10 finishes with potential to challenge for the podium.
We haven't had a British winner of any championship since Sheene won the 500cc title in 1977, but Moto2 leader Redding looks like ending that long wait this year.
The one thing we're missing is a MotoGP win, but Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow has come so close.
He was back on pole position at Brno last weekend and his speed is right up there with the best in the world, but winning races is another challenge altogether. He crashed out last week trying to keep up with the best three riders in the world - that's how difficult it is.
He struggles in the first few laps with a full tank of fuel and that's the difference at the moment. There is no time to give an inch to the likes of Marc Marquez.
The British lads will say it's lovely being at your home race but the reality is it's a nightmare and Crutchlow will feel like Valentino Rossi this weekend. He won't get a minute's peace; he will have people banging on his motorhome door, wanting photographs, autographs, you name it. He will have long-lost family members and acquaintances wanting his time.
The plus side is there will be thousands upon thousands of Union Jacks flying, Crutchlow and Redding banners and T-shirts; it will be a carnival atmosphere and it can inspire them.
Crutchlow has just got to get through qualifying unscathed on Saturday. He has crashed in qualifying at Silverstone in both of the past two years and injured himself, including his epic ride last year when he finished sixth with a broken ankle.
If he can keep it upright this weekend, then you have to say he will be in with a chance of that elusive win. And if he is only ever going to win one, he may as well make it a home GP.
It will be an extraordinary atmosphere at Silverstone; it will be like being at Wimbledon this summer - when Andy Murray ended Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion - if Crutchlow is fighting for the win. Unlike Henman Hill or Murray Mount, there is no Crutchlow Cliff though, as Silverstone is too flat!
People have been waiting for years to see a Briton up at the front. It could happen on Sunday.
Steve Parrish's Silverstone predictions:
1. Marc Marquez 2. Dani Pedrosa 3. Cal Crutchlow
Eurosport coverage was excellent as was the BBC's F1 coverage (Bernie and Murdoch ruined that one).
Remains to be seen what BT do but been a previous customer I wouldn't use their digital TV services again, MotoGP isn't good enough to not live without coverage (that's coming from a biker)
Nice to see Scott Redding sign to Gresini for next year, hope he can contain himself, stay focused this weekend and for the rest of the season, and get the Moto2 Championship.
And Cal, just keep calm! No more trips to casualty, please. Just win the race, no pressure!
"If you have a good bike and you hit pole in qualifying then you win!"
You say this less than a week after the guy who qualified in pole didn't win. And wasn't it the previous race where Bradl failed to win from pole also? That's how far back we need to go to dismiss your utter drivel. Anyway, shouldn't you be off bashing that, erm, bible, somewhere?
Oh and i hope Scott Reading has an amazing race and pulls well ahead in the moto2 championship.
Foggy did compete in moto gp.
He raced when Doohan was racing, Norrick Abe, a young Barros........
oh those were the days,.....
It would be great to see a Brit winning top honours on a motorbike again. Let's hope he and his bike will keep it together. GO FOR IT MATEY!
If your going to do something do it properly.
I assume you just don't like sport
Very few sports do not have a dominant force. Would you now say that Spanish football is no longer a sport as only two teams have any chance of winning La Liga?
The skill and bravery of these riders is unsurpassed - unless you include extreme sports such as BASE jumping etc.
Looking forward to being at Silverstone. Good luck Cal and Scotty.
As a matter of interest, do you read articles and post negative comments on EVERY sport you don't enjoy, or are you particularly targeting MotoGP? :P
Make the most of it on BBC too, its off to ppv next year, will go the way of cricket - a who cares sport.
Btw I live near the track, have fun with the A43 and the bendy local roads - its harvest time so some big machinery around. Don't know if local plod will be after a revenue raising weekend.