MotoGP Austin: Honda ‘unstable under braking’ says Crutchlow

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow needs Honda to do something about the instability of the RC213V under braking, which was demonstrated by himself and Repsol stablemate Marc Marquez in the Austin MotoGP race.

Crutchlow was the first of the Hondas to check out when he went down at turn 12 while chasing Valentino Rossi. Marquez was next in the same place while Jorge Lorenzo broke down - again – leaving Taka Nakagami as the only HRC finisher in tenth.

“I don’t think I went in there too fast. I braked in the normal place, did my normal line and corner entry, it’s just my bike snapped on the braking,” said Crutchlow, speaking at the track.

“Without the wind deceleration, the stopping effect of the bike is not good enough at the moment. We need to improve that. Here today in the braking zones I was not decelerating enough. That’s why you saw me out of the slipstream, especially into Turn 12 or Turn 1.

“It’s what normally happens when we’re following someone. The bike doesn’t turn and in the braking zone we’re not decelerating enough. So we have to squeeze the brake harder, and for longer.

At the moment our bike is really unstable in braking for one reason or another, and we need to improve that.”

Crutchlow had qualified on the front row and looked set for a podium finish, something he believes he had the pace to achieve, and said he was pissed off to go away without a points haul for a second successive race.

“It was a big missed opportunity and we need to limit them, because 13th in the last race through what I felt was a bad decision, that didn’t help my championship, and today I lost another big chunk of points.

My plan was to sit behind Valentino two more laps and then I was gonna try and go. I felt that was the point I needed the fresh air, that I needed to try and make a break, or at least be in front of him.

“I don’t think I would’ve broken away but I think I could’ve kept him behind because of where I was braking, how I was braking. But I knew I needed fresh air to decelerate and fresh air in general.

“Sure, I’m pissed, there’s no-one more pissed than me to go home with no points after another strong weekend, qualifying on the front row and being competitive in all the sessions, but I have to look at the positives.”

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