7 August 2015
MotoGP Indianapolis: Crutchlow: I need to be back towards front
Cal Crutchlow is aiming to contest the podium places in the second half of 2015 as he looks to improve on his current world championship placing of eighth
Cal Crutchlow is hopeful of contesting the podium places in the second half of 2015 having ended the first nine races eighth in the world championship standings.
The Englishman tasted podium champagne in Argentina after Marc Marquez's late race spill but has since struggled to challenge the MotoGP elite, with sixth and seventh in Assen and the Sachsenring bookending a run of three non-finishes.
With Crutchlow's plans for 2016 still unclear, the 29-year old is solely focusing on reducing the gap to the two Movistar Yamahas and Repsol Hondas as he seeks to build on his current MotoGP podium haul of eight.
“I need to be back towards the front,” he said on Thursday afternoon. “As we know the gap normally gets bigger from the factory guys to the satellite guys after the first quarter of the season. It's been the same every single year. We know why that is as satellite riders, the gap gets bigger because they start to develop, it doesn't come or whatever.
“Also, the factory guys start to get faster. For some unknown reason, they just start to ride better. But that's just the way it is. My goal is definitely to come back to the front, to be in and around the podium fight. I'd be very happy with that.
“But it's a lot easier said than done, because we've seen this year, there's been a lot of races where Lorenzo hasn't been able to challenge, maybe Dani hasn't been able to challenge, also Marc. We'll see. If we can get in or around there, we'll be really happy. You have to remember, the Ducatis are going good this year as well, they're really close to the front all the time. The last races, they've come back a little bit, but there's no doubt they'll be back up there for the rest of the season as well.”
Both Marquez and Dani Pedrosa used a midseason test at Misano to sample new set-up changes along with testing the 2016 prototype. While Pedrosa spoke of improvements to rear end feelings, Crutchlow isn't expecting those changes to filter down to the CWM squad any time soon.
“I think we are quite set with what we've got in our package, but our package is not too bad, I'm quite happy with it at the moment. We know it's been a bit more of a difficult year for Honda, and we also know we've been working really, really hard. Stuff will filter down, I suppose, it's just as and when.
“At the moment, we're quite happy in our garage, but we'll see. When they change something, they normally let us know, which is a good thing. But we'll assess that situation as and when it comes to it, and if there is anything that they're trying that we're not. But it does work the other way, we try some things for them sometimes. So it's a stupid rule that we couldn't test at Misano, because that could have been good for us. I think we needed to test, but the satellite guys on factory bikes are not allowed to test, because somebody made a rule because they wanted to save money.”
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