Thanks to the heat, a great many racers at Jerez faced a plethora of issues with spinning rear tyres. However, Cal Crutchlow feels that it was more than the sizzling temperatures affecting tyre performance and that it was an intrinsic problem with the part itself. While he finished the race, he is far from satisfied with his 11th place. He laments that had it not been for his faulty equipment, he would have been Dani Pedrosa or anyone else in the top 5 a run for their money.
“The weekend was tough and I am pleased that I finished the race. We believe we had a tyre problem because earlier I had a good warm-up with race distance on the tyres. I feel I rode a lot smoother in the race, but just wasn’t going anywhere. The last ten laps were a real struggle. We’re not too sure why just yet, but we just know there was a lot of vibration and I had to change sixth gear on the straights where I’d normally use fifth – just to try and stop the spin. There are no excuses, we have what we have.
“I finished eleventh, but finished the race. Obviously that doesn’t make me happy at all. Before the race, I felt I could have been battling with Dani Pedrosa, if I’m honest. I have no doubt in my mind I could battle up there, but for some reason the Honda pace dropped a lot across the board with ten laps to go. Honda are working so hard though, and we will at least give them some information on full race distance which can hopefully help things.”
During the post-race test on Monday, he tried to adopt Marc Márquez’s setting on his RC213V, but found it very much wanting.
“We had to test lots of items for Honda, and tried a setting very similar to Marc Marquez, but found my own setting to be better. He rides in such a special way.”
At least he was very satisfied with the Honda parts he had to test out.
“I rode the bike all day today because we had lots of things to do, and honestly speaking we had a good day and a good test. We had to get through a lot of things, and did some very competitive lap times. I did my fastest lap, and most of the other quick ones, with the hard tyre. I did use the soft, but it was when I was trying the new Michelin front tyre, so wasn’t pushing too hard at that point. They have done a good job and it was a positive outcome with the new front.”
As with anything, a good race is all about not making excuses, taking every facet of your performance into account and ironing out all the kinks. We hope that Crutchlow’s efforts to fine tune his issues on the track begin to reap him rewards. If there’s one sort of sportsman we’re partial to, it’s a proactive one with a sense of responsibility.