Monster Yamaha Tech 3 star Cal Crutchlow says he has plenty of work on his plate to improve the 1000cc M1 at Jerez this weekend if conditions remain changeable.
Crutchlow, who claimed an impressive fourth place at the opening round in Qatar earlier this month – his best ever MotoGP result – was ninth fastest overall in the tricky conditions at the Spanish circuit during the first day of practice.
The British rider completed 15 laps, posting a fastest time of 1m 53.352s to finish ninth on the combined timesheets, 0.3s behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in seventh, who ended the day as the top non-factory rider.
“If we get more of the same conditions for the rest of the weekend then we have a lot of work to do. To be honest we struggled a little bit with a lack of rear grip and that is what we are going to have to work on because we could be racing in similar conditions on Sunday,” said Crutchlow.
“This track dries really fast and with the rain tyres we are having a lot of spinning. Although we've got some issues with the rear grip, I am really happy with my position on the timesheets considering the problems and that makes me really confident that if we make the setting better I will be very competitive.”
Italian ace Dovizioso and Crutchlow failed to complete a single lap in the morning session, when track conditions were neither sufficiently wet or dry to evaluate the corresponding tyres or carry out any meaningful set-up work.
The pair set their times from the opening day in the wet afternoon session and like Crutchlow, Dovizioso was experiencing a lack of rear end traction.
“It has been a day of pretty much constantly changing weather and track conditions and unfortunately that meant we were not able to try anything on the set-up of the bike,” he said.
“We did not have dry conditions at all and even though it has been raining we didn't get the chance to ride in full wet conditions. I went out to try the bike because we might have the same conditions for the race on Sunday, so it was important to go out and collect some information.
“For tomorrow I just hope that we can do some more meaningful work. I don't care if it is wet or dry but anything is better than mixed conditions so that we can focus on improving the bike.”