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Cal Crutchlow takes laid-back route to being the best since Barry Sheene | Richard Williams

First British rider to head the MotoGP standings for 39 years has done it on a non-works Honda and without the need for endless hours in the gym

In a universe of professional sportsmen and women happy to proclaim the incredible rigour of their winter training regimes, it was refreshing to hear Cal Crutchlow summarising his very different preparation for the MotoGP season a few minutes after climbing off his Honda in Argentina two weekends ago, having won the second race of the new campaign and shot to the top of the world championship standings.

He spoke of spending the off-season on holiday in California with his wife and their one-year-old daughter. “It shows you don’t have to ride motorcycles all winter and do press-ups and pull-ups,” he said, “because I haven’t done one.”

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