14 June 2014
Catalunya MotoGP: Deflated Crutchlow won't throw in towel
Cal Crutchlow pledges to keep working hard for a solution as the British star struggles to 13th place in qualifying for the Catalunya MotoGP
Ducati's Cal Crutchlow has vowed to keep fighting as the British star continues to struggle for pace at the Catalunya MotoGP.
Crutchlow qualified in 13th position and behind fellow Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso, Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Iannone, having failed to make it through to Q2.
The frustrated Coventry man admits he has no confidence to push hard on the Ducati but is adamant he won't give up on his hunt for a solution.
“Obviously [it was] a tough day, no different to what I expected after yesterday I suppose. We have no confidence with the bike and no real speed and we are too far away from my team-mate and all the Ducati riders,” said Crutchlow, whose lap of 1m 42.578s was over one second slower than Dovizioso.
“We need to improve tomorrow and hopefully we can sit and assess the situation tonight. The bike, in these conditions with the heat, is not suiting my riding style.
“We changed the riding style and I nearly crashed, so I tried not to push so much. In Qualifying 1 I tried my best to make it but we were too far away.
“I watched Qualifying 2 and Yonny [Hernandez] did an incredible job; from what I'm aware he's on very much a bike from last year, so it shows the potential of last year's bike is very similar to this year,” he added.
“We need to improve and I have no excuses and I don't have the confidence to be able to push, when I open the throttle I nearly crash and when I push in the braking I nearly lose the front. It's clear to see in the data, I'm not telling lies.”
Crutchlow feels he has hit a brick wall with the Desmosedici, which he believes suits team-mate Dovizioso's hard-braking style much better than his own approach.
“I didn't get slower as a rider overnight. The bike doesn't do anything I want it to as such, maybe it does something Andrea wants it to; we know how he's really strong on the braking whereas I'm not strong on the braking,” he said. “But I will keep trying, there's no doubt about that.
“We are at the limit with the setting of this bike. If I go in a little in the direction of Dovi then it's clear I don't stop very well and if we go the other way then the bike doesn't turn at all.
“We cannot change this bike with just some settings and expect to go faster. Still, we are using the soft tyre and they [Honda and Yamaha] are not, so imagine if they were using the soft tyre – they would again take half a second out of us.
“The Ducati guys are doing their best, the same as I am, and I have no doubt in my mind they are doing a terrific job and the best that they can with their hands tied.”
Last year's Catalunya round saw Crutchlow qualify second on the grid for Tech 3 Yamaha.
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