28 March 2015
MotoGP Losail: Crutchlow: I made a stupid mistake
CWM LCR Honda rider will start Qatar MotoGP from 12th place on row four after crash hampers his chances in qualifying
Cal Crutchlow was unable to hide his disappointment after a crash during qualifying blew his chances of a solid grid position for the Qatar MotoGP.
The CWM LCR Honda rider came off at Turn 14 and will start Sunday's night race at Losail on the fourth row in 12th place on the RC213V, giving the British rider a mountain to climb if he's to make up ground on the first lap.
“I'm not happy and obviously I made a stupid mistake but the positive is that we were very fast and we had a possibility of the front row,” said Crutchlow.
“My ideal time would have put us basically there but that's racing and I never finished the lap. The other guys in qualifying did a better job and we are 12th, so it's going to be very difficult for the race tomorrow.
“We need to focus on what we are going to do, whether we are going to try and relax and pass as and when or whether we hammer on at the start of the race. I've not really got much to lose so my instinct is to try and barrel on immediately,” he added.
“The problem is that the tyre works for probably six laps with the Ducati and if they can maintain that and hog the wheel like they have done in this qualifying session then it's going to be difficult.”
Crutchlow said he ran in too hot before losing the front and also rued his front tyre choice after opting not to run with the harder Bridgestone compound in qualifying.
“I'm sorry to the team because we had a good pace, especially on the new tyre over the weekend and we knew that was going to be the case in that last qualifying,” he said.
“I made a mistake, I ran in to deep and had too much front brake and that was it. I should have used the other front tyre for a start because we used the 38 because we were having problems with the 33, but I should have trusted my instincts and gone with it.
“I made a mistake not going with the harder front tyre and I already had overheating and bouncing with the front in the first run, so the second run was going to be even worse because you'd have done three laps on the tyre.
“I should've slowed off for the corner, it's as simple as that, but I didn't because I was willing to take a risk and the risk never paid off,” added Crutchlow.
“For sure our setting is not perfect and we've been struggling at the corner before where I crashed quite a lot with the front.
“The team are taking it a lot more softer than I am because I'm taking it like I'm a complete idiot for making a mistake. They're happy with the work we have done but I'm not because I'm a racer and I want to be as fast as possible.”
Crutchlow is still seeking extra pace in the middle of a race distance and also towards the end of a race run but was confident of achieving a strong result in Qatar before his qualifying setback.
“We still have some tenths to find in the middle of the race and towards the end of the race with regards to being able to battle with the front guys, because Marc [Marquez] has a stronger pace than everyone else, there's no doubt about that,” he said.
Former Ducati rider Crutchlow also believes Ducati had held back a little before qualifying.
“Ducati have done a fantastic job and Andrea [Dovizioso] has done a great job. I said, 'trust me they'll up the revs when they want to up the revs and they'll keep it in the pocket when they want to keep it in the pocket'. I know the way they work from last year! I never write Marc off but I knew Dovi was tough to beat for pole.
“Dani [Pedrosa] has really found pace in the last two practice sessions and at a time he was in our sights this weekend but some of the other guys are a bit ahead of us now,” he added.
“I was confident we could finish in a relatively good position but after qualifying it's going to be really difficult to get away. If those guys get away at the front then there's no chance of catching that group. But we need to make some places on the first lap and especially not lose any.
“I think there's a bit of nerves for everybody going into the first race so hopefully there's a bit of something going on at the first corner and they all run wide!” Crutchlow said.
“There's going to be some crazy moves I'm sure because it happens here every year, so we'll see what happens.”
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