LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow has criticised the MotoGP qualifying format, stating that everyone wants it changed, having qualified down in fifteenth position for the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Only twelfth fastest through the combined free practice times, Crutchlow was one of a list of big names that had to try and navigate the always tricky Q1 in order to have a shot at qualifying in the front four rows. Crutchlow failed to make it through, and wasn’t shy in forthcoming with his opinions about the current format.
“It’s a stupid rule, the top ten go in on combined times,” said the 33-year-old.
“We’ve asked for it to be just FP3 for a number of years. Every time we mention it, everyone agrees. And if the session in Saturday morning is wet, so be it.
“But I think if we had the two 45-minute sessions, FP1 and FP2, we could work for the race and do settings and do proper laps, do two runs, instead of three or four runs. Yesterday people were putting two sets of soft tyres in free practice on in case it rains. It’s not enough, we can’t work.”
Despite his protests, the Brit isn’t holding out any hope of a change in the foreseeable future, citing the power of the television companies as a reason against it.
“It’s not going to change, because the TV companies like the show,” he explained.
“The situation is the same for everybody, but I believe that most of the riders agree that it should just be FP3 That gives us 90 minutes to work, on our settings, on our bike, on our tyre life, giving the information to Michelin.
“Then in FP3 you can have four tyres and make a massive show, do what you want, it’s like another qualifying session.”
With regards to his race tomorrow, Crutchlow said that his pace is better than that of his starting position, but he would prefer a dry race to a wet one.
“It’s a bad day,” he started. “I’ve qualified fifteenth, but my race pace isn’t fifteenth, that’s for sure. I’m not too optimistic in these wet conditions, I would prefer a dry race and then I have the pace.”