Cal Crutchlow says his injured finger did not prove too much of a hindrance as the LCR Honda rider finished sixth fastest at Misano on the combined free practice times on Friday.

Crutchlow, who accidentally severed a tendon with a kitchen knife last Sunday as he helped prepare a meal, was three tenths behind Octo Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci after lapping in 1m 33.545s in FP2.

The British rider feels uncomfortable on the bike but says the upshot is that he is not experiencing any significant pain.

“It was uncomfortable, but to say I was in any pain, I would be lying – I was not in so much pain,” said Crutchlow.

“It’s just really difficult to ride the bike with how uncomfortable it is. When I rode the other day in Barcelona I had the finger pointing down because it was not comfortable with the finger pointing up, and now all I am doing is pointing the finger up. But when you used to ride the two-strokes you had to ride with the finger on the clutch in case it seized.

“Otherwise I felt good, I felt good on the bike and I felt good with the used tyre, which I used all morning and the first run of the afternoon.”

Crutchlow fell in the afternoon after fitting the hard front tyre, fortunately escaping further injury at turn 13.

“I went out with the hard front tyre and crashed immediately on the first lap because it’s too hard for some reason. It’s really strange because I’ve raced this tyre with 12 degrees or 14 degrees less track temperature with no problem,” he explained.

“Marc [Marquez] used it this afternoon and came in after five laps and said you can’t use it because it’s completely at the limit at turn 13. I went out and crashed in turn 13, so it was a little bit late because he never got the information to me!

“Normally I’m the first guy to put the hard front tyre and normally I like it but I crashed, so I went back to the used tyre this morning. Hopefully the track temperature comes up but I think the grip is not just great on the left-hand side, so I’m sorry for my team for the crash. It was really unfortunate because I was feeling good on the bike and we didn’t need that lost time,” he added.

“But I went back out and went faster and then went faster again, so we’re pretty good how we’re working at the moment.”

Crutchlow, who had no issues with the level of grip on day one, predicts that fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa will be tough to beat on Sunday if conditions remain dry.

“For me, the track feels quite grippy but everyone says it is bad and there is not so much grip but I felt OK. I felt the limit was my condition on the bike and not the limit of the track or something like that,” he said.

“If not [wet on Sunday], it’s going to be Dani’s race to lose again because they have this special tyre that is suiting him amazingly and he made a very good run this afternoon with this tyre and a hard rear tyre, so I’d say it is his to lose.

“But I feel good after Silverstone, but Silverstone was not the result I wanted at all [fourth]. I was really disappointed and downbeat after, but we confirmed we had good pace.

“It’s nice to come here and confirm again that I have good pace, even with my injury. I’d be more competitive without it, sure, but I feel OK otherwise and I look forward to tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a difficult day with the track condition because I think it will be hot, but we will see.”

 

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