16 May 2015
MotoGP Le Mans: ‘Happy’ Crutchlow fourth with new swingarm
"The corners are not the type of corners I believe it will really be a benefit on" - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow was handed the new Honda swingarm during day two of the French MotoGP, which saw the CWM LCR rider claim fourth place on Sunday's grid.
Crutchlow joined Repsol Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez in trying the swingarm at the recent Jerez test. The Spaniard then used the new design from the start of the Le Mans weekend, with Crutchlow handed one of the swingarms from FP3.
“I'm the only rider to test [the new and old swing-arms] back-to-back so far this weekend, and the difference is minimal here. But in Jerez it was a lot,” Crutchlow said. “But yes, we have the new swingarm. Yes it's good, but it doesn't make a massive difference here. The corners are not the type of corners I believe it will really be a benefit on.
“[It will be of more benefit] at somewhere like Barcelona where they have longer corners. At Mugello maybe the last corner, places like that. Where in Jerez, you've got Turn 3, Turn 4, Turn 5, Turn 7, Turn 8 - they're long, hanging corners.
“Here, there's no hanging corners except for Turn 4. So we'll see. The problem was, we couldn't use it in FP4, we needed that time to work, and it was pissing down with rain.”
Crutchlow briefly held pole during the following dry qualifying before being shuffled back to fourth, 0.651s from Marquez but only 0.1s from second place.
“I'm happy. Obviously Marc's got a big advantage, but he's got a big advantage on everyone,” Crutchlow confirmed. “I felt we should have been a little bit closer, but that's the way it is. I wasn't, I was fourth. I still haven't had a front row this year, so I'm a little bit disappointed, but I think we're in good shape for the race. We need to look at improving in some areas, and then go from there tomorrow.”
Looking at the strength of his rivals, Crutchlow declared:
“I would say Lorenzo, Marc and Dovi are the strongest and then after that, I think we've got a good chance of battling with the other guys. Saying that, always add Valentino into that strong group, because on race day he can turn it on like you've never seen.”
Marquez's returning team-mate Dani Pedrosa was also seen with the new swingarm on Saturday.
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