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Crutchlow Takes 13th in Red-Flagged Motegi Race Plagued by Monsoon-Like Conditions

Crutchlow Takes 13th in Red-Flagged Motegi Race Plagued by Monsoon-Like Conditions

The weather at the Mobility Resort Motegi threw a curveball at the MotoGP paddock on the final day of the Grand Prix of Japan event. Rain caused two red flags, one after 12 laps in the original Race and one right before the restart. YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team‘s Cal Crutchlow held 14th place at the time of the first red-flag situation. But with one rival not taking part in the restart, he earned 13th place and 3 championship points at the end of his wild-card entry.

Sudden rain on Race Day at the Grand Prix of Japan spoiled the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team‘s plans of testing prototype items for a full race distance. Nevertheless, the team have reason to be cheerful as they scored three championship points during their wild-card entry with Cal Crutchlow.

The skies were turning darker and darker as the clock hit 15:00 GMT+9 and the MotoGP Race got underway. The rain started to fall on the first lap, causing white flags signalling that riders could come in to swap bikes. Starting from P19, Crutchlow followed Fabio Quartararo on the opening lap and decided to stay out on slicks for a second lap. At the time he ranked fifth, as the majority of the rider field had made a pit stop. One lap later, the pack had caught up with those who stayed out on slicks and Crutchlow also swapped bikes. He rejoined the track in 20th place, but then showed his expertise in the wet. He steadily climbed up the order as the rain started to hammer down, while even completing a long-lap penalty. When the Race was red flagged, he was in 13th place. With red flags coming out for a second time during the sighting lap, the grid positions for the restart would become the final Japanese GP Race results. 

Johann Zarco did not join the grid after a late crash on lap 13, moving Crutchlow up to 13th in the classifications.

Though the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team would have benefitted from riding a full race length to gather extra data, they feel positive to leave the Mobility Resort Motegi track featuring in the Championship Standings, as they scored 3 championship points. The Yamaha engineers will carefully go over all the collected data from this weekend with the purpose to boost bike development and help the Factory Team.

Cal Crutchlow


"Today‘s Race was eventful because on the starting grid it started to rain. We did the first laps on slick tyres. I missed the opportunity to pit early like the other riders. I thought we could take a gamble and that it might stop raining – obviously it didn‘t, it started raining much harder. Unfortunately, we made the pit stop in the wrong way, and I had to do a long-lap penalty again. So, two long-lap penalties in one race weekend. But I enjoyed my time with the YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team. We tried our best with regards to finding solutions with the bike for moving forward. As said, it wasn‘t my preferred bike set-up, but it was very important to get this information. We really needed a dry race today to see if we could benefit from a setting change with the bike. But we tried our best. I did a good race in the rain, and I was able to make up some good positions in the full wet conditions. I do think it was the right decision to stop the race, because the limited visibility was becoming quite dangerous. We will continue our testing programme with a test in November in Jerez and Valencia. Good luck to the two Yamaha riders for the rest of the season."

Kazuhiro Masuda

YAMALUBE RS4GP Racing Team Director

"Though it was a Sunday, we kept on trying new items. Unfortunately, we didn‘t have much riding time in dry conditions. Still, we can take the data that we did gather as well as Cal‘s feedback back to our office where we will share it with our engineers in an effort to find a good direction for next year‘s bike. For the test team, this was such a tough race – it‘s a steep learning curve. But we gained good experience doing a flag-to-flag race. All in all, it was a beneficial experience for us, and we will keep on working hard to help Fabio and Franco for the remainder of this season and also develop next year‘s bike."