“Really sorry to @stefanbradl for the bike being in track! Was scary moments when in track with bikes coming at me. Improve in Barcelona …” - Cal Crutchlow, shortly after the race via Twitter
Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow, who started from row two, was in eighth place when he lost the front end and slid down the track. His GP14 machine then hit Stefan Bradl’s LCR Honda, causing Bradl to have a nasty high-side crash. As a result, both riders were forced to retire from one of the most important races of the season for their respective teams.
On a third DNF in five races Crutchlow said, “First and foremost I’m really disappointed for Stefan as well. Obviously I never meant for the bike to take him out, it’s never something that you want to happen. I’m also really disappointed for his team as well, because to have only one rider in the race and then for me, or my bike, to take him out that is a disappointment. So I apologize to him for that and also to his team.”
Trying to understand what had gone wrong Crutchlow added, “We had a strange feeling with the front tire today, which we had not had at all previously in the weekend. It came to the race and we had a strange problem, because when we checked the data afterwards it seemed like our front tire pressure was gaining a lot every lap. Andrea (Dovizioso) also had much lower tire pressure in the opening laps, so I was amazed that I stayed on the bike for as long as I did, because I had a lot of problems in the first two laps. It is very disappointing as I know that Ducati worked hard for the race to have a good setting.”
Bradl had a particularly difficult day on Sunday, suffering two heavy crashes, initially in the Warm Up session and later in the race. The German was the protagonist of a big high side in the morning during the 20 minute WUP from which he escaped without serious injury, but considerably bruised.
In the race he started steadily from ninth on the grid but went down when hit by Crutchlow’s bike from behind.
Bradl stated afterwards, “I was keen to race here in Mugello but now I want to forget this weekend as soon as possible. In the morning I had a massive crash in the Warm Up session and I had to deal with the pain in the race. The feeling with the bike was good but after the start, in the first corner, I went wide losing three positions. After that I was preparing to overtake the guys in front of me but suddenly in the second chicane on turn five Crutchlow crashed and his bike tumbled on the track. I was not able to avoid it.”
“His bike hit me in the back and I had another big crash similar to this morning. So I leave Italy with zero points and a lot of pain.”