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FARCE TALK- Jack and Cal | MotoGP | Sport

MotoGP winners Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller are probably the biggest mates on the grid. In theory at least…

Crutchlow and Miller are MotoGP’s paddock pranksters – always larking about. Getting them together for a joint interview was a bit like herding cats, but we got there in the end.

The Brit and the Aussie share a similar view on life: race hard, play hard. The main thing to remember when trying to understand the pair is never (or very nearly never) take anything they say seriously, because it’s all couched in sarcasm, irony and a general sense of farce. Better to let their results do the talking – this season they’ve both won a MotoGP race, becoming the first independent-team riders in a whole decade to do that.

Perhaps most importantly, Cal and wife Lucy are Jack’s new MotoGP family. The young Aussie, cast adrift 12,000 miles from home, felt a bit lost during his rookie MotoGP season last year, but now he’s got some good people to hang out with he’s buckling down and working harder on his training. With a bit of luck, Mr and Mrs Crutchlow may just help him take his career to the next level.

Inevitably, our interview started with a bit of an argument about the pair’s infamous clash at Silverstone 2015, when a hard-charging Miller took out a hard-charging Crutchlow in the rain-lashed race.

Miller and Crutchlow, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015

Miller and Crutchlow, Qatar MotoGP test March 2015

Why do you like each other?

Jack

I don’t, I fucking hate him!

Cal

It all started last year when he tried jumping on top of me at the race at Silverstone. He obviously showed his true colours of love for me. But I’ll tell you one thing: he never picked my bike up or anything. He just fucked off and got his own!

Jack

My bike didn’t even start! Yours did!

Cal

But you could’ve helped me pick mine up!

Jack

What, just so you could get back out there and crash again! (Which Cal did)

Cal

If I’d got my bike it up earlier, I might’ve been able to finish the race and still finish in a good position!

Jack

(Laughing) Mate, I don’t know…

Cal

Sorry, so you want the serious answer why we like each other?

Jack

I don’t know, I think it’s just because we’re similar.

Cal

Yeah, we get on well because we have similar personalities.

Jack

That’s right, we’re both stupid…

Cal

I think we enjoy life a lot more than a lot of other people in this paddock. Sure it’s a job, so we have to be professional and we are professional when it’s the time to be like that. But there’s also a time to make jokes and have a laugh. Also, I think our characters create a bit of press, which is the other thing: in this job you don’t just have to be a decent motorcycle racer, you have to be a complete package.

Jack

Yeah, you’ve got to have something about you that gets people to come to races.

Cal

We just try to be who we are – our normal personalities.

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Smelly bedfellows: after the Brno GP there was no time for showers, just a quick flight to London – where they had to share a hotel bed–andthenontothe Isle of Man for training

Do you think too many riders have a PR filter between their brains and their mouths?

Jack

Exactly, and some of them don’t like to come across as jokers. I was always the class clown at school, so that’s pretty much it. I went to a private school where everyone was really strict. You come out of there determined to get back at them all. At school they all told me I’d fail at life.

Cal

You have!

Cal, you have a curved peak on your baseball cap, and Jack has a straight peak. That’s a big cultural difference. How do you bridge that gap?

Jack

Cal’s got a peanut head and I’ve got a really wide head, so I’ve got to make the cap spread out a bit. He’s not got a big enough head.

Cal

I’ll tell you what, right, these Australians all try to be Americans, but they’re only halfway there. What they need to realise is that we still own their country – the Queen is still in charge.

Jack

Yeah, we’re all convicts. But you guys should’ve left the convicts in the UK and come down to the good, sunny place! But really, the thing is that Cal and I get along well and Lucy and I get along really well too. It’s a good thing and we enjoy having a laugh together.

Cal

At the end of the day we are all out there doing the same thing. We all want the same thing and we’ve all got the same goal. Everyone wants to win and everyone is risking their balls – lap in, lap out – so you have to respect them all.

Jack and I still want to beat each other, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be any different trying to pass Jack than I’d be trying to pass Valentino. It makes no difference – when you’re on the track you’re on the track. I’d rather be like this with someone than not speak to them. I’m a friendly enough guy. I don’t like some people and they know I don’t like them. But genuinely I’d like to think that a lot of my rivals in the championship would say nice things about me, which is better than them saying, this guy thinks he’s the best, or this guy’s always throwing his toys out the pram.

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Do you think it’s important that when you retire that you’ll not only be happy with your achievements but also happy that you had good fun in what’s probably the greatest time of your life?

Jack

At the end of day it’s a job, and I see it with everyone else in the world: if you don’t enjoy your job, why do it? We are lucky enough to travel the world and do everything, which is great, but we’re also away from friends and family all the time. You need a family in the paddock and I believe that’s what this whole thing with Cal comes to down to.

Would you still be friends if you were fighting for the title?

Cal

Honestly, if you are battling for a championship, most people move away from each other. But I don’t think we will.

Jack

We’re not so much battling for a championship as battling with our bikes.

Cal

I don’t think it’d make any difference between me and Jack. You can still have rivalry, you’re not going to give him an inch on the track, same as he’s not going to give you an inch, simple as that. We both know that, but does that mean we can’t be friends off the track? I don’t think so. If you look back to the older days, sure, there were rivalries, but some of those guys were good friends who travelled together and it didn’t do them any harm. So I don’t think it would change if we were at the front.

Cal, what happened after Jack took you out at Silverstone last year?

Cal

I remind him every day! What can we do? At the end of the day he didn’t want to crash and he didn’t mean to knock me off. If he had knocked me off and he didn’t hit the floor as well, I’d be more pissed off. But he didn’t mean to do it; it was a mistake, that’s it. Me saying – you’re a fucking idiot! – what difference is that going to make?

Jack

The only thing he said to me afterwards was that he would’ve won the race!

Cal

He should pay me the bonus, I reckon!

Jack

I don’t have that kind of money!

It was pretty special for you both to win a MotoGP race within a few weeks of each other, at Assen and Brno

Jack

It’s 10 years since an independent team won a race, then both of us did it in three races, so that was pretty awesome. I think once I did it, Cal thought, ah, Jesus, I better get my arse into gear and do it too.

Cal

If I’d not crashed at Assen, it was a formality I was going to win – it would’ve been a procession. Didn’t you see that rabbit I had to avoid?

Anyone else you hang out with in the paddock?

Cal

Not many. We’re easy-going and we get on with a lot of people but we have a good close-knit group of friends: that’s me and Jack, Lucy and Jake Harrison from Monster.

Is it important to be part of a family in the paddock?

Jack

Definitely.

Cal

Jack is on the other side of world from all his family and real close friends.

Jack

That’s the thing: I was lost at the start of last year when I moved to MotoGP. Before that I had Arthur [Sissis, former Moto3 rider] around – we lived together in Spain but when he went home to Australia at the end of 2014 I was a little bit lost. With Arthur I had a mate to talk to, then I found I really got on with these guys, so they took me in and looked after me. Cal is one of hardest training guys in the paddock, that’s for sure. He’s taught me a lot on that side of things. I like to think he’s almost like a mentor.

Cal

Wait until I retire and he does everything properly under my guidance. I can guarantee he’ll be unstoppable!

MO

Do you feel like brothers or like uncle and nephew?!

Cal

Some days I feel old because my body hurts from all the crashes and the arthritis, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to come back and train. But when I train with Jack it’s a procession for me – I feel young again, like I’m floating on air!

Do you just do cycling together?

Jack

Pretty much, yeah.

Cal

I cycle because it works for me. Jack likes to go to the gym and do motocross. I’m not very good at motocross, so what’s the point of doing it? Riding a motocross bike won’t make me any better here. I know it’s good for fitness, but I don’t struggle for fitness in races. I cycle because I think it’s the better way for me.

Jack

I think cycling doesn’t only make you physically fit, it also makes you mentally strong because MotoGP races are long and if you go cycling you ride for a long time and you’ve got to keep your focus.

Do you both like an occasional blowout?

Cal

If I drank like Jack I’d be jumping off roofs like him.

Jack

I’ve been there, done that. I’m learning from Cal now.

Cal

I’ve also been there – I drank for years in BSB. In 2009 I didn’t drink anything because I knew that was the make-or-break year for me. In 2008 I was fat and getting half-decent results in BSB for HM Plant Honda; I was just not so interested. When I went to World Supersport in 2009 I was like, right, that’s done. Nowadays I can still go out, but it takes me a week to get over it. It’s a week of my life wasted. I’m not a guy who has one drink – what’s the point of having one beer? You might as well have 50! But then there’s 50 cars written off or 50 windows smashed. I remember the last time I got drunk when Lucy was there, it was [BSB rider] Stuart Easton’s wedding. I remember pulling a tree off the wall, then I was climbing up the wall trying to get a stag’s head. It was great at the time but after it’s a disaster!

Jack

So I’m trying to follow him the way he is now, but I’m still 21, if you know what I mean, so it’s all about willpower.

Cal

You’ve got to enjoy your life. Racing is serious: there’s millions and millions going into this and it’s dangerous, so you have to respect it. I believe you can have a party, you can enjoy yourself. Just because I don’t, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. But if you go that way too much it’s the wrong career move. I’ve explained to Jack: you’ve got to be realistic about how much effort you’re putting in and how much effort the team is putting in, so what’s the point of pissing it up the wall? When you stop you can do whatever you want for the rest of your life.

Did you celebrate your wins?

Jack

We looked like we had celebrated when we arrived back in the Isle of Man after Brno. Cal had a test on the Monday. He arrived back in the motorhome at 6.17pm and we left at 6.30pm – he didn’t even have a shower.

Cal

I stank.

Jack

We got straight in the car and drove to the airport.

Cal

We stayed in a hotel in London and slept in the same bed.

Jack

You didn’t have to tell them that! By the time we got to the Isle of Man it looked like we’d been on a two-day bender

Jack, we saw you on the tequila after your Assen win.

Jack

Yeah, but nothing really happened. Nothing like it would’ve been if it had happened last year, that’s for sure!

What else has Cal taught you?

Cal

You know what, Jack is really into London slang. He’s reading all these books about cockney rhyming slang and all that.

MO

All he’s got to do is say ‘init’ a lot

Cal

No, he’d just sound like Scott Redding!

So you’re certainly enjoying yourselves…

Jack

What’s the point if you don’t?

Cal

You’ve got to enjoy it. I’m intense because you have to be at this level; you can’t just cruise around. But you also have to love what you do and we do enjoy it. The only thing I don’t like is the travel.

Jack

Yeah, the travelling is a pain, especially all the airport security. But the other day Cal shouted me my first experience of a private jet – me and Willow (Cal’s daughter) had our first private jet flight. That’s the way forward. I definitely want to make a few more squids so I can do that a bit more.

Cal

Yeah, we’re going to get Mick Doohan to sponsor us…

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INTERVIEW: MAT OXLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: CORMAC RYAN MEENAN, LUKASZ SWIDEREK AND GOLD & GOOSE