Crutchlow eyes breakthrough win
Cal Crutchlow will look to mark the 10th anniversary of Barry Sheen's death by standing on the top step of the MotoGP podium at Silverstone.
Crutchlow has never finished higher than second in MotoGP but achieving a win on Sunday would be a fitting way to conclude celebrations of the life of Britain's most famous motorcycle racer.
Sheene, who died a decade ago from cancer, won the 500cc world title in 1976 and 1977 and will be remembered during a parade of his old race bikes at the Northamptonshire circuit on Sunday.
Crutchlow and his rivals for the MotoGP world title - today's equivalent of the championship Sheene won - will then take to the track to battle for the race win.
British fans who have had little to cheer about since the end of Sheene's career, which made him a household name, still flock in their tens of thousands to the British GP every year and Crutchlow knows what it would mean for them to see a home rider take the race win.
He said: "I am really excited for Silverstone and I know the support from the British fans will be incredible, so hopefully I can give them something to cheer about."
The 27-year-old from Coventry, who lives on the Isle of Man, swaps the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for Ducati next season and currently lies fifth in the MotoGP points standings.
He might have been higher but for a crash last weekend in the Czech GP at Brno when he was battling for fourth place with multiple world champion Valentino Rossi.
"It's not the best preparation for my home race at Silverstone but I go there knowing I can challenge at the front," added Crutchlow, who started the Brno race from pole position after topping qualifying for the second time this season.
Crutchlow will be joined on the grid by team-mate Bradley Smith, the 22-year-old from Oxford who currently lies 11th in the championship in his first season in MotoGP.
Crutchlow lies fifth in the standings and the man both would have to beat to take the win on Sunday is Marc Marquez, the 20-year-old Spaniard who has won the last four MotoGP races on the Repsol Honda to head the table from team-mate Dani Pedrosa, title holder Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi and Crutchlow.
While Crutchlow carries home hopes in the MotoGP class, Scott Redding has the best chance of a British win on Sunday.
The 20-year-old from Quedgely in Gloucestershire, who lives in Zurich, has won two races in the Moto2 class this season on the Marc VDS machine to lead the standings by 21 points going into his home race.
"I am really excited because it is my home GP. It's a GP you really look forward to and it's great to see how much support you get," said Redding.