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Sepang MotoGP Test: Crutchlow finds time in ‘braking and entry’

"We improved in the braking zone and corner entry, but that's about confidence as well" - Cal Crutchlow.
New factory Ducati star Cal Crutchlow reduced the gap to Sepang pace setter Marc Marquez by one-second on day two of MotoGP testing.

Crutchlow had instantly improved on his best lap time this morning, running as high as third.

However he later slipped back to twelfth, directly behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, with a fastest time - on lap 11 of 48 - that was 1.470s adrift of reigning champion Marquez.

“We've made some improvements since yesterday, there's no doubt about that,” said the Englishman, who spent all of Wednesday on the new Desmosedici GP14.

“We went through a lot of settings. Up, down, left, right. But essentially it's difficult to analyse because the track condition changes from lap to lap, let alone a 30 minute window.

“That's the normal time it takes to make a change and the track has already changed by the time you go back out.

“If the bike had stayed how it felt from 10-11am I'd have declared myself happy. After that every bike starts to feel worse and it seems that's more of a hindrance for the Ducati.

“But I'm pleased that we found some positives, rather than nothing yesterday as such.

“We improved in the braking zone and corner entry, but that's about confidence as well. I need to get used to riding this bike, not the previous bike [Yamaha] because it's a lot different.

“Where we need to gain is to start looking for rear grip and the rear of the bike. We know there's still a problem turning into the corner, but at the moment we can't change that.

“So our prime concern for tomorrow will be to try and find some more rear grip, tyre life and stop the bike from wheelieing.”

The former Tech 3 Yamaha rider added that the Ducati seems to respond well to aggression and that he'll push it harder once it becomes more familiar.

“I can't ride this bike anywhere near how I rode the Yamaha. I can't get away with it. Everyone says riding this bike more aggressive works. It does in a way but it's having the confidence to do it,” he said.

“Step-by-step I'm learning a whole new electronics system and engine, so I'm not willing to push the bike like that at the minute. So to be not too far from the other Ducatis at the moment is a positive.”

Pramac's Andrea Iannone was the leading Ducati rider, in eighth place, on Wednesday.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, Sepang MotoGP test, 4-6 February 2014
Iannone, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Iannone, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Iannone, Crutchlow, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Marquez, Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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Cris Zarate

February 05, 2014 3:59 PM

I think the Ducati is better now than what it shows in the time sheet... Iannone showed that but the difference from the Pramac and Factory Duc is less the 4 tenths.... and that is mainly because the factory riders is focusing on development than just setup and outright pace.... in reality the the 3 Ducati and it's riders a equally match, I really hope Ducati will go Open class and somehow make it to the podium and maybe win a race or two, just to put eggs on the face of Nakamoto and Honda, who is continually destroying the sport by going to 800cc and now to make threats if spec software is imposed. Why make such threats, they don't own MotoGP. I hope FIM and Dorna impose that Spec Software next year, and if Honda leave, those who are left will have spec ECU and software and racing will be close again like the 500cc days, and that will be more exciting than today, when snorefest is more common than wheel to wheel battle.


February 06, 2014 7:09 AM

ctm, So Rossi made Ducati not competitive, is that what you're claiming? If not, they’ll be winning races wouldn’t they? So the improvement Rossi is showing lately is not phenomenal compared to his performance when he was with Ducati. Look, when people go down and lose confidence, it’s not easy to build it back especially after 2 years. It’s even harder when you are a star and you are subject to public judgement which includes criticism. He is holding up pretty well. For me that’s phenomenal. If you look at my other comments in crashnet, you’ll quickly find out that I’m not really VR fan but I appreciate his effort.

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