Cal Crutchlow is searching for solutions to his ongoing turning troubles with his LCR Honda having felt he is able to be consistent but off the pace of the front-runners at Sepang.

Fresh from his Phillip Island podium last weekend, Crutchlow clung on to a provisional top 10 spot on the combined times after ending FP2 in seventh place as the leading Honda rider with Marc Marquez opting against a late time attack in the afternoon session.

The British rider has been left content with his consistency over a long run at the Malaysian track but concedes currently he isn’t able to match the pace of the riders at the top of the timesheet.

Crutchlow put it down to the familiar problem of turning with the 2019-specification RC213V having returned to settings used during the February pre-season test at Sepang.

“I don’t feel as good as at the test at the moment which is not positive but I don’t really know why. I just don’t have a good feeling with the bike,” Crutchlow said. “The problem is the turning of the bike here is not great, I think the track condition is worse than at the test so this also masks a few problems when you have the test and everybody is riding around all of the time.

“We need to improve as I was consistent but consistently not fast enough, that’s the problem. But I hope we can make a step tomorrow and be positive and make some inroads to the guys at the front as we need half a second per lap.

“Quartararo was really fast and we were not so overall we have to continue to work. I have two setups on the bike that I don’t particularly use a lot, it is more towards what we tested here in the winter but as we see it is not working fantastic at the moment.

“I need to improve the turning on the bike and deceleration and the rear grip. It is which one is more important.”

With a 30-point deficit to Quartararo in the current riders’ standings, Crutchlow’s hopes of ending the season as top Independent rider in MotoGP are still within reach, while he is just eight points behind Jack Miller on the Pramac Ducati in eighth place in the overall championship.

 

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