CRUTCHLOW PLAYS WAIT­ING GAME

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Dou­ble 2016 race win­ner Cal Crutchlow has been left tread­ing wa­ter at the Sepang test as he awaits the ar­rival of new parts for his LCR Honda.

He won't know what new parts or even which en­gine he will get for the 2017 sea­son un­til fac­tory rid­ers Marc Mar­quez and Dani Pedrosa fi­nalise the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of their mo­tors.

It was clear from the sound of the bikes that both Crutchlow and the Marc VDS duo of Jack Miller and Tito Ra­bat were not us­ing the new 'big bang' ma­chines that Crutchlow got an op­por­tu­nity to test at the end of 2016 but in­stead the old 'screamer' en­gine.

And with no other new parts ex­pected for the satel­lite teams, it looks set to be a case of no real progress for the Bri­tish racer from the Malaysian test.

He said: "we've just been test­ing dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions of en­gines. We'll just con­tinue with some small items to test that are noth­ing to do with Honda, go through our list, and hope­fully get some more track time, be­cause ev­ery­one needs it."

And while Crutchlow's bike may not be pro­gress­ing at the rate he wants it to, he's also strug­gling phys­i­cally and was sur­prised to find that the fin­ger he broke at the Malaysian Grand Prix back in Oc­to­ber is in much worse shape than he ex­pected.

He said: "I was go­ing to have surgery on it at the end of the year but opted out be­cause it was quite in­va­sive. We put a lu­bri­cant in­jec­tion into it in­stead and hoped that would work, and all win­ter it felt great. Then I started to ride again and itõs killing me.

"malaysia is spe­cial be­cause of the brak­ing, but itõs more the fin­ger joint and the lig­a­ments in­side it thatõs caus­ing the con­cern. I donõt know what the plan will be, be­cause I need to speak to my hand sur­geon and make a plan. Ob­vi­ously, not hav­ing any surgery is bet­ter, but I need to know what weõre go­ing to do. Hope­fully thereõs some­thing else they can do be­fore they op­er­ate, be­cause I donõt want to do that and lose time re­cov­er­ing."

Not much to test and a fin­ger that’s still painful

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