Cal Crutchlow reckons he needs to improve his pace in the tight first two corners at Germany’s Sachsenring after he posted competitive times in wet and dry conditions today.
The British rider was fifth fastest on a dry track this morning and a best lap of 1.23.081 put him just 0.159s behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.
This afternoon’s second session took place on a wet track after a torrential downpour struck just minutes before the pitlane opened and Crutchlow was seventh quickest with a best lap of 1.32.744.
That was only 0.516s behind Dani Pedrosa’s factory Honda RC213V but the 26-year-old said he was losing 0.4s in the first two corners and was easily the slowest prototype rider in the first sector.
He told MCN: “I am losing the whole lap in the first two corners. I’m losing 0.4s every lap in those two corners and we don’t really know why. Otherwise we definitely made some improvements compared to last year because I was 15th or something. This year I am fifth and seventh and in the wet practice I probably should have been a little bit quicker as well but I feel that we can be up there in the wet and dry. The start of the weekend I was aiming for the top six and that’s where I am at the moment. But the whole lap time in the wet and dry was lost in the first two corners. We need to look at why and check the data of the other guys and assess it from that. Maybe it is a little bit of inexperience but last year I was s**t around the whole lap and we have improved in every other part except for them two corners. I felt like I was the fastest around them but I was actually last of the MotoGP bikes. The gear is the same but it maybe braking point or where I release the brake is different. I would say it is more going into the second corner but I don’t know. That sector is only two corners long and I am the last MotoGP rider. All the fast stuff again I am up there in the top three.”
Crutchlow continues to ride in discomfort with the broken left ankle he suffered in a high-speed practice crash for his home race at Silverstone last month.
But he added it was not a major issue at the Sachsenring track, which is dominated by left-hand turns.
“It is not hindering me too much. I am cautious of it and that’s the only problem. I rode today with no strapping but I am just cautious with it. I can’t move it from side to side but I can move it up and down no problem.”