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MotoGP: Cal Crutchlow set to test 2017 Honda

Cal Crutchlow expects to try 2017 Honda at Aragon next week, will continue with alternative chassis this weekend.
Cal Crutchlow is set to try the 2017 Honda RC213V during a post-race test at Aragon next week.

The 2017 engine was recently given its debut in the hands of factory riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa at Misano. HRC has now asked LCR's Crutchlow, already race-testing an alternative chassis, to provide his feedback.

"Yes I will," Crutchlow said of the 2017 bike test. "At the end of the day, that's why I'm here, I'm here to test for them. I'm testing for them permanently throughout this year.

"We won't be testing on the same day as the other guys [next week]. We'll be trying to compare some stuff for the other [Honda] guys to try, so they are not wasting their time. And that's it."

While unwilling to provide any further details, Crutchlow did confirm he will again be using the alternative RCV chassis this weekend.

"Our intention is to use the new chassis again," said the Brno winner. " I have two of them. I had two in the last race also. But we do back-to-back comparisons, and the problem is that you waste too much time doing that, you lose too much time in sessions when you could be concentrating on one or the other.

"But at the last race, I still believe that the chassis we had was not the best chassis for that track, but the front tyre didn't help us either. We know that Marc tried the harder front tyre when he went testing after, and it was a lot better.

"But I will stick with what I've got, because we want to see what it's like at this circuit. What do I have to lose? I'm not fighting for a championship. So I can afford to say yes or no for us and for Honda."

The chassis was raced by Pedrosa at Barcelona in June, but subsequently rejected by the Spaniard.

"I know that sure, Dani raced it in Barcelona, and he was also on the podium in Barcelona. But there are some negatives to it. Maybe at that track, the negatives were emphasized a little. And if I rode it at that track, maybe they would have been even more than Dani, because of size, weight, wings, etc.

"But I can go back at any time, I could have used it for one session and took it off, it's just that I wanted to continue with it, we have decided to continue with it. Plus it's good that we have mileage on it.

"We don't think it would work for Marc's style, maybe. But that doesn't mean that it won't in the end. I think there are some areas where it could be improved.

"It's stronger in one area than the other, but the other chassis is stronger in another area. So we're actually gaining something in one area but giving something up somewhere else. [The two chassis] are like the complete opposite. In the end, why not carry on and gather information for Honda, because they can see the data."

The Englishman believes Honda's strategy of gathering data from a range of different chassis designs will ultimately pay off.

"We're on three difference chassis now. Marc and Dani are essentially on the same chassis- a little different because of size and how they ride - and mine is a little bit different.

"Honestly, to me it's a good thing. It's about trying to improve and getting information. I go back to what happens with Ducati and [Michele] Pirro. He rides round all week and they are improving from it.

"Look at how much they have improved from the Avintia bike he rode, which was my [2014] bike; he finished nowhere. And look at how he went in Mugello and Misano on a [2016] factory bike. He finished two seconds behind Dovi at the last race.

"It shows how much of a step they have made from having somebody testing all the time. I think it's good what they're [HRC] doing, and we'll continue to try and help them, because in the end, I want the best result for me as well. Not necessarily on that weekend, but over time. But it's not that what they have is good and what I have is bad, it's just different."

Despite the lack of a clear performance advantage for one or other chassis, Crutchlow believes it is important to stick with one design and not switch back and forth.

"The guys in the garage don't have to sit and siphon through data, to have a look and say, can we give 1Nm more torque out of that corner because you have a tiny bit less wheelie, but then the lap before, you exited 3 km/h faster and had less wheelie. It's pointless. You are better off sticking with one chassis.

"You know the time when Dani wasn't going well? When he was chopping and changing things. But I really do think that Honda are doing a really good job with what they are doing."

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Honda , Cal Crutchlow

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September 23, 2016 1:27 AM

"At the end of the day, that's why I'm here, I'm here to test for them. I'm testing for them permanently throughout this year." I remember back in CC35's Tech 3 days Cal was bitching and moaning that Yamaha won't give him the latest and greatest gas tank only to get said tank and call it garbage. Not sure testing and development are Cal's strong suit. No harm though, the more feedback the better, eh? Like I,ve said in the past, Cal would be a good guy to have a couple of pints with and tell stories.

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