26 June 2015
Crutchlow ‘pushing to the limit’ for seventh
Although chatter issues persisted throughout the day, Cal Crutchlow feels he has the pace to run inside the top five in Saturday's race
Cal Crutchlow said he was 'pushing to the limit' to claim seventh place on the grid for Saturday's Dutch round of the MotoGP series at Assen.
Crutchlow spent Friday battling chatter when his CWM Honda was fitted with new tyres but maintains his race pace is good enough to challenge the top five in the 26-lap race.
“Why is everybody going so fast, why don't they have a few weeks off of going so fast,” joked Crutchlow. “We're pushing to the limit, we're pushing our package to the limit, but overall, I'm happy. It's been a tough day, race time wise we are on a good pace.
“We worked on old tires, I did 22 laps with a used set of tires and I did a 1'33.9 in FP4 which is good. I had massive chatter with both my new tyres, we had to take the edge of them. Me and Dani seem not to be able to go fast immediately on our first lap, but we did on our second lap.
“But I had some chatter so basically, if I never had the chatter, in the third sector, I only gained one tenth on my FP4 time with a really used tyre. That shouldn't be happening because it's just long corners. But we just couldn't get rid of the chatter. It's normally with a new tyre, after a couple of laps its fine. Overall, I'm quite pleased, we have the pace to run in the top five, no doubt about that, it's just what the weather brings tomorrow.”
Speaking of the chatter issues, Crutchlow believes a full fuel tank will remedy the vibration issues at the beginning of the race, when his Bridgestone tyres are at their stickiest.
“Don't forget, we are not pushing as much at the start of the race,” he said. “We're not going to be doing a 1'33.1 or a 1'32 even, we are going to be doing mid 1'33s. Four tenths a lap makes a lot of difference in chatter. Plus we've got a full fuel load, and that will help the chatter.
“When we've got no fuel in the bike, we've got more chatter with a new tire. There's quite a few of us at the front with the same sort of pace. We need to improve in some areas, so we'll look tonight to try to do it. I need to improve the change of direction. We need to look quite in depth with the electronics at the moment as to why I can't accelerate very well out of turn 5 and turn 14. But in other areas, the bike is working really good.
“We know into the last chicane we're quite strong, we know into turn 8, turn 9 we're quite strong. We'll see. It's going to be a long race here tomorrow, especially with our package. Quite physical round here trying to change direction in sixth gear all the time is difficult.”
In a ludicrously tight Q2 qualiying session, Crutchlow lapped less than 0.15s slower than Marc Marquez on the front row. In the Englishman's eyes, it wasn't a bad performance after struggling in Friday morning's FP3.
“We made a mess of FP3, we shouldn't have been tenth in that practice. We had a problem at the end of the session, we had to change something, but we had to change it too fast, and I didn't improve on my time from yesterday. Then in qualifying I don't think we did a bad job to be honest, but it's just everything so close. Half a tenth would put me fourth.”
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