LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow believes HRC have made a step with the front end of the 2019 RC213V as doesn’t feel the load as much as in previous seasons.
The Briton had two spills at Sepang which prompted Marc Marquez to wonder if more work needed to be done, but Crutchlow thinks that he no longer needs to load up the front as in previous years, so it will no longer overheat the front Michelin tyre.
“You have to take my crashes differently, because when we normally crash with the front end with the Honda, we crash a lot in the braking zone and we over-stress the front and we crash,” said Crutchlow.
“My front end feeling at the moment is the completely opposite. I feel like I don’t have the load like last year, so maybe they have improved it, and I need to also adapt and we need to adapt the setting to it.”
HRC have been working on getting more top speed from the bike in order to not only challenge Ducati but to reduce the need for its riders to brake later to try and make up the deficit, which has caused a lot of crashes.
Crutchlow was pleased with how the Sepang test panned out, even though he was riding with a still-wonky ankle.
“Overall I am pleased with how the three days have gone, I couldn’t have asked for a better three days. My ankle is getting sore and hot and swollen but I feel in good shape. Better than expected.
“I feel the ankle is in good shape it doesn’t bother me on the bike, it bothers me when I stop.
“It’s still slow, I’m slow to move my foot around the rear brake and the peg but I feel in good shape considering I had three months off the bike. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus every morning that I get up.
“I should have gone a lot faster but I crashed, it was completely my own fault, I went into turn two over excited. I lost three tenths in the first sector of my fastest lap, compared to a good lap, so the next lap I pushed like a madman thinking I need to go like half a second faster.
“I had some chatter and I crashed. That was with the really soft tyre and I think on average you could take about six to eight tenths off so I comfortably could have gone a lot quicker.”