Crutchlow : ‘My pace is en­cour­ag­ing’,

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Cal Crutchlow wrapped up the three­day Phillip Is­land test fifth fastest on­board his LCR Honda. The two-time Motogp race win­ner con­cen­trated on longer runs and was among the very fastest in terms of race pace.

Crutchlow claimed his sec­ond Motogp win at the Aus­tralian track last Oc­to­ber, but like ev­ery­one else had to con­tend with 20ºc hot­ter track con­di­tions, which caused front tyre is­sues.

Speak­ing to MCN, he said: “I missed the win­dow to push for a lap time on the last day, be­cause we had some prob­lems with the bike. Our main fo­cus was to do a long run and we did that – we got 15 laps done. But we strug­gled so much with the front tyre. The tyre was too soft, and 15 laps was all we could man­age. Any­thing be­yond that was com­pletely on the limit.

“Any lap time un­der 1m 30s was a risk, so to do a long run in the low 29s was very pos­i­tive. We had some prob­lems with the bike’s elec­tron­ics dur­ing the run. The last lap was still in the 29s but it wasn’t that fast be­cause I was sh**ting my­self about the front tyre!”

How­ever, the prob­lems that the Honda rid­ers have been fac­ing per­sist for him, and he also ad­mit­ted that the first few races of the sea­son may well be a case of dam­age lim­i­ta­tion for them.

“We need to make the bike more ride­able, but that’s what we wanted last year too. It’s fast in a straight line and fast over a lap time, but it’s hard to ride. It’s what you can see on TV – we’re al­ways try­ing to con­trol it, to save crashes. It means we have to do a lot of ex­tra work com­pared to the oth­ers, and that makes it dif­fi­cult in a race.

“We know that at Qatar the Du­catis are go­ing to be rock­ets, so we have to just do out best. We’ll see what we can do for the rest of the races af­ter that!”

‘ The last lap wasn’t that fast as I was sh**ting my­self about the tyre!’

CAL CRUTCHLOW

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