24 October 2014
MotoGP Malaysia: Crutchlow 'Malaysia is always like this!'
“It's just Malaysia. It's always like this! The problem is what happens in the race" - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow began the Malaysian MotoGP weekend by posting the eighth fastest lap time in the dry at Sepang, then tenth in the wet.
“I'm happy enough with today because the condition of the track was really bad, in the dry and the wet. We are a long way off the times at the test, but straight away I was fast in both conditions,” said Crutchlow, speaking outside the Ducati hospitality.
“I didn't finish in the position I wanted to [this afternoon] because I just had no grip in the rain when the track started to dry. We just went the wrong way with the bike electronically,” added Crutchlow, seen waving towards the end of the session: “I couldn't better my lap time, so I was just having some fun.”
Crutchlow - who fell from second place with less than a lap remaining last Sunday at Phillip Island - had been 0.792s behind Repsol Honda pace setter Dani Pedrosa in the dry, placing him directly behind team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
The afternoon session was then delayed by a big storm, but the rapidly drying surface meant that the wet tyres were starting to struggle by the end of the 45-minutes.
“Those sorts of sessions here are a disaster because if you'd said 15 minutes before, 'are we going to go out on track in the next three hours?' everyone would have said 'no'. And in the end it was nearly completely dry in some corners,” said Crutchlow.
“It's just Malaysia. It's always like this! The problem is what happens in the race, because when it rains, it rains enough to red flag. But when it dries, it dries so quick that the [wet] tyres are no good. You have to manage the situation as best as possible.
“Maybe tomorrow we'll get a chance to test again in both conditions because I think it's going to be dry in the morning and wet in the afternoon again.”
Asked if he had been able to carry anything over from his impressive Phillip Island form, Crutchlow replied: “The bike we used there is different to the bike we have to use here. Sure I feel I'm riding the bike better but tomorrow will be the key day, where we need to improve.”
While team-mate Dovizioso is on the GP14.2, Crutchlow is still using the original GP14 that he first used in pre-season testing at Sepang in February.
“Not much has changed [on the bike] we know that,” he said. “But I didn't have a familiar feeling either, because I've been riding different tracks all year since the tests. Overall it wasn't so bad today to be honest. I'm optimistic about where we can improve.”
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