Crutchlow to miss Valencia MotoGP finale

'Along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted'- Cal Crutchlow.
Crutchlow to miss Valencia MotoGP finale

Cal Crutchlow is to miss this weekend's Valencia MotoGP season finale, as he continues to recover from a badly broken ankle at last month's Phillip Island round.

The Englishman underwent lengthy surgery and is now setting his sights on being fit for the opening 2019 test at Sepang on February 6-8.

"First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the well wishes I have received since the Friday of the Philip Island GP," said Crutchlow.

"To all the medical staff at the circuit, my LCR Honda Castrol Team, HRC and everyone who came to visit me while I was in hospital in Melbourne, especially my wife Lucy who travelled to be with me for the 12 days I had to stay.

"Also, Jake Harrison and Andy Roche for sorting everything out and, of course, our Team Manager Lucio who stayed with me every day until he went to Malaysia.

“I had excellent surgeons in Matthias Russ and Dr Evans who initially put an external fixator on my leg until the swelling went down and they could operate, which was 6 days later.

"The crash resulted in a Pilon fracture of my tibia, fibia and talus bone. The surgery was completed in three and half hours and, along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted.

“The injury I have can take a recovery time of up to 12 months and, although as a typical motorcycle racer I thought I would be back in time for the Valencia GP, unfortunately this is not the case.

"I can’t put any weight on my ankle for six weeks, but am continuing to recover and having physiotherapy. This week I will start to try and cycle again and look forward to preparing for Sepang in February 2019.

“I have had a fantastic season and I look forward to making more great memories in 2019-2020. Good luck this weekend in Valencia to my team and to all the people on the MotoGP grid.

"I look forward to watching the best motorsport championship there is, as a fan, this weekend.”

Crutchlow will again be replaced by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl.

"I’m happy to be back with LCR in Valencia again," said Bradl, who finished 13th at Sepang. "It’s another opportunity for me to show we can produce a good performance, just as we did in Sepang. It’s definitely going to be difficult because the forecast for Valencia looks quite changeable, but I hope we can continue where we ended our performance in Malaysia.

"We’ll be working closely with HRC and I’m looking forward to being part of the team again. Let’s see what we can do, I’m excited at the challenge ahead. Once again I want to thank HRC and Lucio for this opportunity and I wish Cal a very speed recovery… hope to see him back on his bike soon."

Crutchlow's withdraw confirms that the battle to be top Independent rider in the 2018 world championship is now between Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati).