Cal Crutchlow’s final race weekend with Tech3 got off to a good start with the Englishman setting the fourth fastest time on the opening day. A light crash at the end of the day confused Crutchlow but did little to dampen his spirits ahead of what will surely be an emotional weekend for the 28 year old.
Speaking after FP2 Crutchlow said:
“I am happy with my start to the weekend because this afternoon I made a big improvement and I felt fast and strong in FP2,” said Crutchlow, who was mystified by the fall. “I went round the corner slower on that lap than on the lap before – and the lap before that – and I still fell off. I was lucky that it was first gear and there was absolutely no damage to me or the bike. It was a stupid crash but we need to investigate the reason why. On the previous run when I opened the gas, at turns six and nine, I was losing the front and that’s exactly what happened in the crash.”
Crutchlow’s best lap time was just under three tenths slower than Marc Marquez and left him in close company to Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Crutchlow has already secured fifth in the championship and the honours of the year’s top satellite rider but his aim is clearly set on the title chasers and finishing on the rostrum:
“I am in the top four and being so close to that Spanish trio gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of the last weekend,” said Crutchlow. “We’re playing around a lot with tyres. The front seems to be good but drops off immediately and the rear is better, but when you lose the grip there’s no coming back and the corner speed gets lower and lower which is no good for the Yamaha. We tried the [new] hard tyre and it feels completely different compared to the Misano test but Bridgestone say that it’s not at the optimum temperature so if it’s a little hotter it might work better.”