Crutchlow : ‘My pace is encouraging’,
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!’