CRUTCHLOW OUT TO HONOUR HAYDEN’S MEMORY AT MUGELLO
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow admits one of his favourite races of the season will be tinged with great sadness this weekend as he competes in the Italian Grand Prix. The event at the legendary Mugello circuit in Tuscany is a one of the most crowded race for Lucio Cecchinello’s team, but this year the whole MotoGP paddock will still be mourning the untimely passing of hugely popular former champion Nicky Hayden who died following a bicycle accident in Rimini last month.
As a mark of respect to Hayden, Crutchlow’s RC213V will carry a #69 sticker on the front fender throughout this weekend’s action. The Briton was a friend of the American and has acknowledged that he, and his fellow premier class riders, are still coming to terms with the tragic news. However, Crutchlow is determined to race hard in memory of Hayden at a circuit where he finished on the podium back in 2013.
“I don’t think I know anyone that says they’re not looking forward to coming to Mugello. It’s such a good atmosphere here, the crowd are always great. My aim, as always, is to try and do the best job that I can. I’ve had some good results here and I’d be happy with the top six because I think it’s going to be quite a close race. I feel there will be a couple of guys that are head and shoulders above the rest – maybe that could be me, I’ll certainly be trying!”
“As I said before, I don’t know anybody in this paddock who could say a bad word about Nicky. It’s such a sad time for his family, I can’t even imagine what they’re going through at the moment, and everybody here is feeling it as well. What we can take from it is that we were privileged to know him and race with him. He was a great rider and a great champion and a lot of people in this paddock wish that they were able to be like him”.