Crutchlow works to increase pace with full fuel load17/07/2012
By David Miller
Image by Bonnie Lane
Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow thinks he has found a cure for the lack of early-race pace he has been suffering in MotoGP this year.
The Coventry man has struggled to stop his satellite YZR-M1 when the tank is full of fuel but, as the load gets lighter, he is able to up his speed and begin to chase down the competition. After 38 laps and two sets of tyres testing at Mugello yesterday, Crutchlow reckons he has found something as well as lapping three-quarters if a second faster than on Sunday.
"We had to concentrate on the braking. We struggle at the start of the race. For the first six laps when the tank is full of fuel, I can't stop. Valentino and I on were on track in the race and we're exactly the same - when the fuel load becomes lighter, we got faster and faster. We need to work on it but we can't work out why the other guys can stop. Maybe we have found something with that, hopefully it will work at the next race. We need to work on the starts too," said Crutchlow, speaking to bikesportnews.com.
"We couldn't fully fill the tank as they will never do that unless it's a race but we got it as high as possible. We started nearly every run out with 20 litres, except for the afternoon where we had to do a little test for Yamaha, nothing new, some sensor sort of stuff. I don't think we gained much other than riding around. We're all knackered. Three weeks of racing back-to-back has been hard on all the riders, hard on the mechanics, no-one wanted to test here.
"We had nothing new to test but we tried the bike a little bit lower, then back to its normal height, a little bit longer etc, it was good to see the changes. In terms of laptime, we went out on every setting and ended up the same, which is where we are struggling with this bike. No matter what we put in it, I can do the same times and the feeling is very similar.
"You can give a little bit in compromise but you change one thing and another gets worse but it has been good we could see that here because we raced here all weekend. To go up, down, left and right with it, you gain in some areas but lose in others. In the end we found something small, we used one set of tyres to get going and one set this afternoon. We ended up with 38 laps on a set of tyres."