MotoGP »

MotoGP: Crutchlow keen on free practice changes

"Most riders want to make FP3 the only time when you can go to Qualifying 2" - Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow is in favour of changing the format of MotoGP free practice, so that only FP3 is used to determine direct access to the Qualifying 2 pole position shootout.

Presently the best lap times are combined for FP1, FP2 and FP3, with the top ten riders then going straight to the final part of qualifying. Those outside the top ten after FP3 must take part in Qualifying 1, where they fight over the last two places in Qualifying 2.

But double 2016 race winner Crutchlow believes the current system means there are effectively four qualifying sessions each weekend, rising to five for riders who successfully graduate from Q1 to Q2.

Being in the top ten early in the weekend is vital when bad weather is forecast, but Crutchlow believes some riders are deliberately using up their new tyre allocation in free practice just to reach Qualifying 2 directly.

That guarantees a top twelve start, even if the rider has no new tyres left for the pole position session.

Crutchlow would prefer to see the Q2 top ten decided only on Saturday morning lap times, meaning each rider would have plenty of new tyres for qualifying and be able to fully focus on set-up during FP1 and FP2.

"Most riders want to make FP3 the only time when you can go to Qualifying 2. Because even FP1 is a qualifying session at the end. You can't work. Everybody is just throwing new tyres in," explained the LCR Honda rider.

"They don't care if they have any new tyres left for Qualifying 2, it's just they want to be twelfth on the grid. It's the same situation for everybody; so if you want to do that, do it. But we want to make FP3 the only time you can go through.

"I don't think it'll happen though. Because of the show. TV.

"But we would still push [if only FP3 lap times counted] and put a new tyre when we need to put a tyre. Now we are making four qualifying sessions, five if you go in Qualifying 1. It's just wasting time."

Riders that take part in Qualifying 1 are currently at a double disadvantage since they not only need to 'survive' an extra knock-out session to reach Q2, but must do so without receiving any additional new tyres.

That means even if they make it through to Q2, they often have at least one new tyre less than those who secured their place directly after FP3.

"We've already discussed this for next year," Crutchlow said of the possibility of riders being given an extra tyre if they progress through Q1.

Crutchlow was forced to take part in Qualifying 1 eight times in 2016, including during his victory weekend at Phillip Island, and revealed it's not all bad news:

"Going through Qualifying 1 makes you - not faster - but you have less time in-between riding the bikes. The other guys have 40-minutes or something [from the end of FP4 until start of Q2] so if you want to go fast immediately, it's quite difficult.

"But I plan not to go to Q1 so much next year, because the last three races I've been in it every time!"

By Peter McLaren

Tagged as: Cal Crutchlow

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Crutchlow, Japan MotoGP 2016
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Pedrosa, Zarco, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Baz, French MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Iannone, French MotoGP 2017
Folger, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


December 07, 2016 7:32 AM

ZeFrenchAngle: In the end, this is why, when they know FP3 is likely to be dry, the Lorenzo, Marquez, Rossi, Vinales of this world sometimes spend an entire FP2 and the first half of FP3 on used tyres. It is called "tyre management", Cal !
I'm sure Cal is grateful for your knowledge of MotoGP racing.


December 07, 2016 7:27 AM
Last Edited 123 days ago

With Cal's sugestion you could have a weekend of two dry FP1 & FP2, with all bikes set up for the dry, and come to a wet FP3, and the specialist wet weather riders (Crutchlow himself, Rossi, Petrucci, etc...) having a significant advantage over those not so confident on the wet. As a result, although not perfect (no system can be), the current system, combined FP1+FP2+FP3, is better than what Cal is suggesting. It would seem much simpler, in order to address the actual issue he is raising, for Dorna to allow two extra tyres for Free Practice for next year. But that's not going to happen in the current age of "reducing costs". In the end, this is why, when they know FP3 is likely to be dry, the Lorenzo, Marquez, Rossi, Vinales of this world sometimes deliberately spend an entire FP2 and the first half of FP3, and sometimes the whole of FP4, on used tyres. It is called "tyre management", Cal - time to learn its fine art !

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.