16 June 2014
Catalunya MotoGP Test: Crutchlow loathe to run soft tyre 'out of principle'
Cal Crutchlow chooses not to ride with the soft option Bridgestone rubber during the Catalunya MotoGP test
Ducati's Cal Crutchlow says he is reluctant to run the soft option rubber available to Open class and Ducati teams 'out of principle'.
Crutchlow, who was forced out of Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP with an electrical issue, was 13th fastest during the post-race IRTA test, 1.725s down on Marc Marquez with a best lap of 1m 42.909s and the fourth fastest Ducati behind Andrea Iannone, Yonny Hernandez and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
In contrast to the other manufacturer-supported teams, factory Ducati riders Crutchlow and Dovizioso had little to test apart from Bridgestone's new front tyre and the British rider is clearly frustrated by what he sees as a lack of progress.
“I don't like running it [softer tyre] out of principle. Everyone is out for whatever advantage they can get, but I used to be able to do it on the other tyres so why can't I do it now – that's my reasoning behind it,” said Crutchlow. “So I'd rather try and make the harder tyre work like the rest of them, which is their soft, and try and work with that and that's why today we never used it.
“There's no point. Iannone did a good job racing the soft tyre here and Mugello, but it makes no difference because he and Dovi finished together here and at Mugello using different tyres.
“So we never used the soft tyre today, which I know all the other Ducati riders did. The Pramac team used it all day but we concentrated on the harder tyre because we need to look at some settings and see what direction we need to go in.
“We confirmed the direction I always want to go in is the correct way, so we'll look at that and continue from now.”
Crutchlow has resigned himself to the likelihood that he will have to make do with the Ducati in its current guise until the end of the season, when new Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna's first full machine will be ready.
“It seems strange to me as well [lack of parts to test]. There's only so much information you can give and only so many times you can give the same information – I gave it when I first rode the bike in November,” he said. “The bike is a little bit better this year but fundamentally the bike has the same problems. We need to come up with something but it's not going to happen before the end of the year and we know that already.
“I'm still motivated every week and I leave no stone unturned but it's difficult to know that you can't compete with the other guys. Over one lap we're nowhere near and when the grip goes I don't have the feeling like Dovi has because he rides in a different way.
“I'm not going to change my style to suit this bike for one year. If I do that and then the bike is completely different next year then you have to change back again,” added Crutchlow.
“As I've said plenty of times, I've learned to ride like one of the best in the championship [Jorge Lorenzo], to go into the corner, to carry the corner speed and to get out of the corner, but the only way to gain an advantage with this bike is straight-line braking and that's where I'm weak.
“I'm reluctant to change my style, but I have to adapt and try my best with it and I think at some circuits it'll work better than others.”
The Coventry rider says he is unprepared to take unnecessary risks with the bike and instead prefers to wait and see how the development of the Desmosedici pans out.
“It's not my task to fix the bike, it's my task to ride the bike and give the information. We're still too far away from the other factory bikes,” he said.
“Andrea does well in the race and is able to compete with the likes of Pol [Espargaro], but he's a rookie and we should be able to beat them because we're a factory team and we should be in amongst the top six riders. But we're not able to be competitive with the other manufacturers in the championship.
“We need to improve but me and Dovi can't fix the bike. [Andrea] Iannone and [Yonny] Hernandez are just riding it as fast as possible because maybe they need jobs and they're riding well, no doubt about that, and I've no argument saying that they're riding better than me.
“But I don't think I need to take any risks any more as such; we'll give the information they need and see what they bring and when they bring it.”
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