Britain’s Cal Crutchlow is expecting to struggle against the factory Hondas and Yamahas at this weekend’s Austin MotoGP round as their four riders have all tested at the Circuit of the Americas.
The Monster Yamaha man will also have to contend with Stefan Bradl’s prior knowledge of the circuit as he too joined Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez when they rode at the Texas track.
Crutchlow admits he has the test data from the works Yamaha team but says it isn’t a lot of use until you’re up to speed, and tomorrow expects to be behind Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden who have both ridden the circuit on road-spec Panigales.
"I’ve got the gearbox ratios, I’ve got the circuit maps, the plan of what they did at the test but it makes no difference. it’s not knowing, particularly, what gears to be in it’s about riding around the track. You can have all the data you want, it doesn’t mean you can go around the corner that fast until you’ve done some laps," said Crutchlow, speaking at Austin.
"I will be happy if I can learn on the first day, build up. I have one plan for the weekend which I am not going to share with anyone. You have to learn your own way. You have to ride round and salvage what you can from a weekend that is going to be difficult but not let your head drop too much because you know you’re going to be on the back foot. I will try and fight as best I can."