25 June 2014
Assen MotoGP: ‘Frozen’ Crutchlow looking for movement
“At the moment I'm just completely frozen on the bike” - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow believes the key to building his confidence with the Ducati MotoGP machine is to find a set-up that allows him to loosen up and move around.
The Englishman feels he is too 'frozen' at present and, after trying the configurations favoured by his fellow Ducati riders, went back to an older setting during the post-race test in Barcelona.
Crutchlow now aims to continue along that route at Assen this weekend.
“We went back to the setting that I prefer [at the test], because we keep going to change to everyone else and how they are riding, how much weight they've got on the front of the bike or what they are doing. But it doesn't suit me. It doesn't suit my style,” said Crutchlow.
“We need to improve my riding on the bike, because at the moment I'm just completely frozen on the bike. I don't move on the bike. I don't do anything. I need to be able to relax and ride the motorcycle how a bike should be ridden, not just freeze every time because you don't know what the hell it is going to do.
“So we need to start to improve that, first and foremost, then once I get the confidence to be able to ride the bike and make the bike move and do what I want it to do, we'll be more competitive.”
Asked if that meant he was going his own way, Crutchlow replied:
“Well, I'm going the way that our side of the garage is looking towards, and it's more towards what I am used to, than worrying about what the other Ducati riders are doing because they are faster.
“We need to look at the reasons why and the reason why is because we are not good on the bike, as in we are not able to move on the bike. We'll try and get me more comfortable on the bike before we start to worry about anything else.”
Crutchlow took his first ever MotoGP pole one year ago at Assen, where he went on to finish third for Tech 3 Yamaha. After such a tough start to the season, Crutchlow has 'realistic' expectations for this weekend.
“I'd be happy to finish the race, first and foremost,” he smiled. “Obviously I know what I can do around here. Last year I was battling with the guy who won the championship. We need to aim to be faster and be more competitive. You always aim to win, but the reality is that it'll be difficult. I'll try and do my best.”
“I think Assen will suit the Ducati. The bike works a lot better in the cooler conditions,” he added.
Crutchlow has scored points just twice so far this year, with another technical problem causing his latest DNF in Catalunya.
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