For a rider, tanking at your home race is painful enough. But leaving home ground injured only makes the sting worse.
Cal Crutchlow will see a doctor today to have his arm, damaged at Silverstone, evaluated.
You can't over-estimate how stressful it must be for a British rider to race an international event like MotoGP on home soil. The enormity of British mainstream media is focused on the possibility of a Brit rider succeeding. For the rider, trying to live up to the press-fueled expectations of his fellow-country peers, if internalized, only grows more daunting as the weekend progresses. Mistakes are magnified much more than signs of possible success. Superbike King Carl Fogarty is the only British rider in recent memory who was able to dismiss the crushing predictions of the British public and launch himself to home race success. In 1995 "Foggy" earned near British sporting immortality by winning all four British WSBK races (held at Donington Park and Brands Hatch) from pole.
Crutchlow qualified on the fornt row of the MotoGP grid at Silverstone: an amazing feat, no doubt.
In other mention, local boy Scott Redding received a hero's welcome when he was able to win Silverstone's Moto2 race. For a country raised on Barry Sheene and Carl Fogarty, though, the ultimate goal remains to have a MotoGP win by a British rider. So all eyes were on Cal.
Tech 3 Yamaha team principal Herve Poncharal predicted before the race that Silverstone would be Crutchlow's best chance at a MotoGP win in 2013. Such a supportive statement was no doubt meant to be encouraging, but whether it actually helped Crutchlow is debatable. The bemused look Cal gave when told that his team owner thought a win at Silverstone was possible spoke volumes. Perhaps his facial expression was Crutchow-speak for "this isn't helping."
In the end, Briton Cal Crutchlow crashed three times at Silverstone and at one point was seen punching himself after a spill. The three crashes could not have bolstered his own expectations for the race, nor his confidence. After the race Crutchlow admitted he was just happy for the weekend to be over.
Seventh place in his home race at Silverstone was a decent salvage operation after qualifying on the front row but doing a hat trick of gravel tumbles. Now the concern about Crutchlow is why his arm, injured in one of his falls, remains very swollen. "After the crashes I just had no power at all in my right arm, Crutchlow said post-race.
Crutchlow remains an exciting dark horse for a MotoGP win in 2013. His chances of doing so will certainly increase now that he's not carrying the weight of an entire island on his shoulders.