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Ill Crutchlow feels strain at Phillip Island

26 October 2012

Cal Crutchlow's objective this weekend is to secure a solid points haul as he battles for fitness at Phillip Island after being struck down by bronchitis.

Crutchlow finished the opening day of practice for the Australian MotoGP fourth fastest on his Tech 3 Yamaha M1, setting a best time of 1m 31.367s to put him 1.3s behind Casey Stoner but just 0.362s behind Jorge Lorenzo in third.

The British rider has been resting this week after taking ill upon his arrival in Melbourne and is generally satisfied with his performance in FP1 and FP2, although he admitted he was “finding it hard to breathe”.

“It was a good start to the weekend and I'm happy considering how ill I've felt before today,” said Crutchlow, who finished 0.091s ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

“I had a really high temperature yesterday but the bigger issue is the bronchitis because I am finding it quite hard to breathe.

“I felt better today and concentration is not a problem but this track is so physical and fast that you don't get a break.

“And with the wind you are constantly fighting the bike, so that isn't making it any easier for me,” he added.

“I will go and see the Clinica Mobile staff again tonight and hopefully I'll feel better again tomorrow.

“I'm still not anywhere near 100% and my target is to leave this weekend picking up some decent points.”

Crutchlow feels the track surface at Phillip Island has deteriorated since last season and will focus on improving rear grip on his satellite Yamaha after losing time through wheel-spin in the second half of the circuit.

“We can make the bike better because I lose a lot of time in the second half of the lap,” he said.

“You get a lot of spinning from the rear tyre at this track and that is an area we need to look at improving for the rest of the weekend.

“The track seems really bumpy as well. It was bad last year but today it felt five times worse and the surface is wrecked, but everybody is in the same boat.”


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