Recounting the 1989 British GP at Donington Park
Cal Crutchlow’s early exit at his home Moto GP last year meant we didn’t get to see his awesome potential at Silverstone. His two WSB race wins there in 2010 were pretty special as he dominated on the factory Yamaha R1, not least as he used some alternative lines and every inch of the track along the way.
With his form matching the world's best in every event this year, on paper, this weekend should be his best chance so far to secure a podium or maybe even (making the dream come true!) take the first major class win in three decades.
Just for a moment, back in 1989 at Donington I thought a home win might be on the cards while riding the Marlboro Yamaha YZR 500. I always loved my home Grand Prix, and far from making me nervous, the home support only inspired me to go out and put on the best possible show.
It had been a weird weekend as my team mate; Freddie Spencer, got sacked by Agostini who promptly replaced him with Italian Luca Cadalora. I started alongside my new team mate from the second row and although I was nowhere on the opening laps, as things settled down everyone started coming back to me.
I eventually took the lead from Schwantz at Redgate and felt like I could gap him but ironically got tied up with a backmarker at ‘Schwantz curve’ losing a load of time. Kevin came back past on the next lap and I eventually finished fourth after being mugged by Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey in the closing laps. It was brief but I guess better to have led and lost than to have never led at all. That trio eventually collected eight 500cc world titles between them so never easy to overhaul come raceday.
As always in the 80's and 90's our thoughts soon turned to where the Sunday night party would take place. After a pitch black hire car race around the circuit and turning Wayne Gardner into Casper the friendly ghost with fire extinguisher foam it was round to Eddie Lawson’s motorhome for more refreshments. I’m sure it wasn’t all my fault but his driver was booking his camper in for a total refurb the following morning.
Go for it Cal and let me take care of the party!
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