CAL CRUTCHLOW ‘ TO OVER­TAKE, YOU GO TO A MORE POW­ER­FUL EN­GINE SET­TING’

Performance Bikes (UK) - - MOTOGP RIDING SECRETS -

“THE BIG­GEST CHANGE for me was com­ing from Su­per­bikes to Mo­toGP. I still have a Su­per­bike style, in the way I hang off the bike. I’ve tried to change... For years I’ve tried to learn to brake with my two big­gest fin­gers, but I can’t do it. I still brake with my outer three fin­gers and keep the in­dex fin­ger on the han­dle­bar to open the throt­tle.

“Your style is your style, but sure, you have to change your tech­nique dur­ing the race: when the grip goes, you start pick­ing up the bike more on the exit, and when the fuel load goes down you start brak­ing in a dif­fer­ent way – we know what lap we can start brak­ing with more lean an­gle. Marc Mar­quez is the only guy who brakes into cor­ners with a lot of an­gle – he floats the bike.

“The Miche­lin front is dif­fer­ent – we lock the tyre in a straight line, so some­times we are lock­ing the front at over 300kph! It’s a scary thing, so we play with the lever all the way into the cor­ner.

“You see a lot more tyre smoke nowa­days, be­cause we’re try­ing to turn the bike with the rear tyre. We play with the TC a lot more in the race than what we used to, but I play with the en­gine man­age­ment more than with the TC. You can be clever with the power man­age­ment – if you want to over­take some­one and you need more power, you go to a more pow­er­ful set­ting.

“I play with the en­gine-brak­ing the most. It de­pends on how much grip there is. We race af­ter Moto2 and most times it’s like a com­pletely new track be­cause of all the rub­ber. Af­ter three laps you work out what you need to change with the en­gine-brak­ing and so on. Maybe the grip isn’t so good, but you leave the but­ton alone and the grip gets bet­ter, or you might change it im­me­di­ately, which makes things worse, so then you have to go back. You have to be con­stantly as­sess­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

“Nor­mally you start the race with the high­est set­ting when there’s the best grip, then you go freer as the grip goes down, but some­times you end up need­ing more as the race goes on!”

MON­STER EN­ERGY, LCR HONDA

Dur­ing a race, Crutchlow is con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing power and en­gine-brak­ing re­quire­ments, ad­just­ing both ac­cord­ingly

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