British MotoGP battler Cal Crutchlow struggled to find a satisfactory setting on day one of the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi as he finished off the pace in ninth position.
The Coventry rider had predicted a difficult challenge at the Twin Ring circuit, where hard-braking and slow corners don't play to Crutchlow's strengths.
He focused on improving his feel on the Tech 3 Yamaha in the heavy braking zones, but could only manage ninth on the first day of practice without discovering a setting that allows him to push for a faster time.
Crutchlow's lap of 1m49.984s left him ninth on the combined leaderboard after FP1 and FP2 this morning, less than 0.1s off a top six position but with considerable ground to make up to the leading trio, including team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
His fastest time was almost 0.9s slower than Pedrosa's best effort and Crutchlow admits he has a lot on his plate as he seeks an improvement tomorrow.
“Today wasn't the start I was hoping for at all because we worked very hard to improve the bike but I was unable to find a comfortable setting,” he said.
“I am way down on the timesheets and a long way behind Andrea and we are both on the same bike and the same tyres, so it is clear that we have a lot of work to do to improve tomorrow.
“Nothing we tried seemed to work and give me the feeling I wanted and I certainly need to improve and be faster with the hard tyre because that might be the tyre I need to race with,” added the 26-year-old.
“There isn't one particular place where I am struggling.
“We have quite a few issues but I will sit down with my Yamaha Tech 3 crew tonight and see if we can come up with a solution to help me be more competitive tomorrow.”