MotoGP Motegi: Crutchlow ‘thought we had a chance at top ten’

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Cal Crutchlow was back on MotoGP duty at Mobility Resort Motegi on Friday and sitting 17th in the standings on the WithU RNF Yamaha.

The most recent visitor to the Japanese venue due to his testing work with the Iwata manufacturer, Crutchlow had confidently made the switch back to racer as he repeatedly challenged in the top ten throughout the sole 75-minute afternoon session.

With the pack in shootout mode for the final ten minutes, Crutchlow’s efforts were undone on the last run and he completed the opening day with a 1’45.187 best sitting him 17th overall.

“Today was a strange day,” Crutchlow reflected on the amended schedule. “Waiting around until three o’clock to ride is not ideal, but I think all MotoGP riders have just been waiting to go out on track today.

“The lap times were very impressive for the first session. There was a little bit of drizzle in the session as well, so everyone was pushing to be in the top ten because it looks like it’s going to rain tomorrow.

“Disappointed not to be in the top ten because at one point I thought we had a chance. I just didn’t have a good feeling with the rear tyre on the last run.

“I did a good banker lap of 1’45.2 and knew where I could improve, but we struggled with the rear tyre, it was not feeling great in the last run. I went a tiny bit faster but I made this in the corners.

“The team did a good job today. I’m happy with how we performed, but we need to understand the braking. I struggled with the performance of the brakes to be able to stop the bike. Let’s see if we can improve if we get some dry sessions tomorrow, but it looks unlikely.”