Cal Crutchlow is keen to atone for two recent crashes that dashed hopes of strong finishes at Misano and Aragon with a strong result in front of Honda bosses at Motegi, and revealed his injured finger “is a lot better than it was.”
The Englishman damaged the index finger on his left hand in a domestic accident prior to the 13th round of the year at Misano, and felt his inability to adjust his brake lever that stemmed from the injury was a cause of his fall two weeks later at Aragon.
And although Crutchlow described the finger as “a bit raw” after the lengthy journey to Japan, he no longer has to use a special cast that ensures the digit doesn’t bend when inside his racing glove, which will likely aid his comfort when gripping the handlebars.
The 31-year old’s recent record at Japan is impressive too, with Crutchlow notching up fifth and sixth place finishes in his two previous visits to Motegi as a Honda rider.
Asked what his expectations for the weekend ahead were, Crutchlow said, “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Hopefully better than the last two races. I had a bad result in Misano which was my own fault for pushing too hard in the rain, but I’m confident we could have been top five wet or dry there, maybe even a podium.
“[At] Aragon I crashed, I made a mistake, but I don’t believe it was too much my fault, as I couldn’t adjust the front brake. It’s as simple as that. But two bad results and I’d like to make amends in the next three.
“[The finger is] A lot better than what it was. It’s a bit raw at the minute. I think it’s the traveling. But I actually feel quite good with it, I can move it, I don’t have to wear any special glove any more, which is great, and I don’t have to ride with my finger straight. And I should be able to adjust my brake! So we’ll see, it’s a lot better now.”
So he can now bend the finger? “Yeah, I took the cast off a week early anyway, I was so over having the thing on! I took it off the day after Aragon. I was supposed to wait another week and a bit, but I took it off.
“And then it seemed to be working very well, they’ve done a very good job for sure. Because they say a lot of people can’t move it for a long time, and actually keep it straight as well. But I feel fine, I don’t really feel any pain,just with the skin a little bit.”