Whereas the Honda riders and Jorge Lorenzo started the session on the soft compound Crutchlow concentrated on improving the balance of the bike even though he was adamant that he would not race the harder tyre on Sunday due to the lack of edge grip in the tyre during long runs.
The Englishman however showed a good balance of speed and endurance today with the third fastest time in FP1, on the soft compound, and then competing 20 laps on the harder compound in the afternoon.
“I was pleased with today,” Crutchlow told the assembled press after FP2. “Today I did the whole second session on the hard tyre and the laptime was good. We know that the advantage of the soft tyre is six tenths so we know the potential of the soft tyre but I wanted to improve with the hard tyre because we know that if we improve the hard tyre it will also be better for the softs.”
The harder compound rubber offered the Tech3 rider the opportunity to try and improve the balance of his bike and he feels that the lessons learned should offere a benefit during Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix. Even though he was able to set good times on the harder compound it was clear afterwards however that Crutchlow knows that it will not be possible to use the tyre during the race because of it’s limitations.
“The hard tyre has no side grip,” admitted Crutchlow. “In the last sector, where you need side grip, you can do a decent split and on the next lap it gets a little slower, and the next lap a little slower and the next lap a little slower because the tyre gets hotter. We aren’t going race the hard but I needed to try and I wanted to continue with it rather than change [to softs] like the other guys.”
Having finished on the rostrum at the last two Grand Prix Crutchlow is in superb form at the moment and his decision to elect not to set a time on the softer compound shows just how confident he is at the moment.