LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow believes the 2017 MotoGP Honda engine has a lot more potential than it is currently showing, which is ‘encouraging’ for the 31-year old after he finished fifth fastest at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on the first day of testing.
Crutchlow tested the same engine as he had in Malaysia, but explained that he also had last year’s bike here just to use as a reference. The 2009 World Supersport champion only did two runs on last year’s machine before switching to the new 2017 machine and setting a best of 1’30.065
“In the end I felt quite comfortable with my pace,” said Crutchlow, speaking at the track. “We had a lot of problems that were small things to sort out. We would come into the pits and do a lap time which was three second slower than what you were doing before. So we were in and out of the pits a little bit.”
Overall however, Crutchlow was happy with his feeling on the bike. But he did admit it could be a lot better than what it is.
“I know what it takes to be fast around here. I know even today I was fast and competitive enough I found. It feels more difficult today than it did on the race weekend last year as a whole however, but it could have been the same for everybody, as the track condition was hot.
How did Crutchlow find the circuit after the Island Classic a few weeks ago after there were a few oil spills here and there on the last weekend of January.
“The circuit seemed ok. It needed rubber put down on it. After five-ten minutes it was fine. When it’s cooler here you can go a lot faster, but that’s the same as Jerez and other circuits. I mean the lap times were quite reasonable, I thought.”
If the race was today or tomorrow Crutchlow, who will start his 106th MotoGP race at the opening round at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, believes he would be in a good position.
“I think it’s harder than what it was at the race weekend at the moment because we wasted a lot of time messing around. Our bike in October we knew what it was and there is not too much we could do with it. Where the new one is a bit ‘left, right, down, up’.”
Today, Crutchlow didn’t really touch the chassis setup of the bike, only just played around a bit with the electronics and a few other things but he will use the 2017 chassis from now on.