LCR Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow continued to be frustrated as reoccurring issues with his 2019 Honda RC213V prevents the Brit from being further up the timing sheets after the opening day of free practice at the Circuit de Catalunya just outside Barcelona.
Crutchlow ended the day ninth fastest overall, 0.623 seconds behind Fabio Quartararo’s fastest time of the day. Despite sitting in a net Q2 spot, the Honda man wasn’t too happy with how his day transpired.
“The tracks real dirty,” said Crutchlow who finished fourth in last years race in Catalunya.
“It wasn’t a great day, as per usual at the moment, but we have to try and improve the time.
“I sound like a broken record. I cant turn the bike, I don’t feel good with the bike and in fast corners like here, turn three, turn four, turn eight, twelve and thirteen, they’re all fast corners and the bike doesn’t turn, so I’m struggling in that area and losing a lot of time.
“What speed and what pace I had here at the end of the race last year, the bike setting is identical to last year but we a different chassis and its not working, it’s as simple as that.
“It seems like when the track grip is really good, like the Jerez test and after the race I felt quite good on the setting I was on.
“But if you look at the reality, Taka’s [Nakagami] riding very, very well, he did a good job in Mugello. But I don’t think he’s better than Marc Marquez and today he’s ten places ahead of him – or even more, so that’s the reality of the situation.
“Sure on race day Marc is making it work, he’s leading the championship, but as I said, I think we’re struggling a lot more than we did with last years bike. But on the positive, the bikes fast.”
When asked whether it was a question of sticking with the current setting and waiting or hoping conditions play into his hands, or twisting and going in search of the perfect setting, Crutchlow said: “I think no matter which setting we ride with this year, we can have the bike with many different geometries and we do the same lap time.
“Today I’m on last years setting, which is a much different bike to what we’ve been previously running. This year I’m at the end of last year [in terms of setting], so we’re doing the same lap time, but that’s always the case with the Honda.
“You can do the same lap time if you’re on average 20/30mm difference around the whole bike, and you can still do the same lap time so that’s the difficult situation.”