Cal Crutchlow believes Honda riders are at a disadvantage as the Bridgestone front tyre allocation is too soft for their needs during the final MotoGP race of 2015 at Valencia.
On Thursday the Englishman explained how the current RC213V's issues with rear grip forces its riders to push the front end more to make up time. Hence the front rubber is overworked more, with endurance suffering as a consequence.
In Valencia, where riders can choose between a soft, extra-soft and asymmetric (a mix of the two) compound front tyre, Crutchlow felt the available rubber was too soft and a medium would be better suited to his machine around the 2.4 mile Spanish track.
“The tyres here are no good,” explained the LCR Honda rider. “The asymmetric right hand side is too soft, the soft tyre (which is the left hand side of the assymetric) is way too soft as well. In the safety commission tonight we might plead with them [Bridgestone] to get the old stock out of the container that might be here and ask them to give us a 33 which would be the next step harder. It's not very warm. With the way we are braking now we'll need it.
“It's not just us, Dovi and Ducati will need it, Honda will need it but I don't think Yamaha and Suzuki will need it but we should have the option to have it. Nobody is ever going to race the 31 (extra soft), it'll just be for the morning warm-up. The rear again, typical situation, we all can't use the hard rear tyre but open class can use the soft and the medium so they've got eleven tyres and we've got seven.”
Crutchlow's issues were echoed by Marc Marquez after he ended Friday afternoon ninth fastest, 0.6s off Jorge Lorenzo's fastest time of the day.
Asked whether he would be paying special attention to Valentino Rossi – forced to start Sunday's race from the back of the grid - charging through the pack, Crutchlow was insistent that he would not make life easy for any rider.
“I won't be moving over for anybody,” he said. “My team pays millions of euros to be here and I think out of respect to them I'll try my best every race. I'm not pulling over for someone and that's no disrespect to any other rider on the grid.”
In the face of potential criticism from certain partisan fans, Crutchlow added that would have no bearing on how he approaches a race.
“I think it's completely out of order that people are asking us to do that [move over]. We're here to race. I never made the rules. I didn't do anything wrong so why should I give in to pressure from the public to move over? It's disrespectful to me as a motorcycle racer, it's disrespectful to my team who have 50 staff here every weekend busting their arse for me to finish one place, one second, one tenth higher up than what I was going to. If you ask all the other riders the same question they won't give you that answer but they'll feel the same.
“When I say it could affect my life, it could if something happened. At the moment the people are that mental some of the things that have gone on and been said is quite out of order. People can't be doing what they're doing. We need to calm the situation down as much as possible because we're all here wanting to do the same thing. We're all wanting to win, all wanting to go faster. We love what we do and I don't think we should be in the state we're in where people are threatening to take people's lives and stuff like that.”