Cal Crutchlow reckons he could have lapped the Silverstone track today faster on a production Yamaha R1 machine than his prototype YZR-M1 MotoGP bike after the British rider experienced a tough start to his home race at the Northamptonshire track.
Fifth fastest in wet conditions this morning, Crutchlow was only eighth quickest on a dry track this afternoon and frustrated to have suffered such a low key start to his crucial home race.
Struggling with a cough and cold, the 26-year-old set a best time of 2.05.574 this afternoon to finish 0.783s behind Casey Stoner, who topped the timesheets on his factory Repsol Honda RC213V.
The former World Supersport champion told MCN: “It was a good start to my home Grand Prix being fifth in one session and eighth in the other. I could go round here faster on a road bike than I could on a MotoGP bike at the minute and I seriously believe that.
"I was useless in the wet and dry and we need to come out with something better tomorrow. It wasn’t even worth getting out of bed for and it was a tough day and I’ve got a lot of things to improve.
"I’ve got a cold and a cough and don’t feel great but tomorrow is another day. It was the same for everybody and I struggled in all honestly but Ben (Spies) was the only Yamaha not to struggle.”
Crutchlow said his biggest problem was a ferocious wind that blew around the vast Silverstone layout and he added: “I really struggled with the wind and we don’t know why. I’m struggling in braking, turning and acceleration.
"The crucial thing is we can’t stop the bike very well in the distance I need and that makes the corner speed lower and that means you just lose time.
"As soon as you open the gas the front wheel is just off the ground in the wet or dry and that shouldn’t happen in the rain. The bike is moving around a lot and it feels like it is sat low in the rear.”
Crutchlow said he was struck by one gust of wind on the approach to the Vale corner with such ferocity that he almost crashed.
He said: “It probably would have been the biggest I’ve ever crashed. I was behind (Jorge) Lorenzo and suddenly the wind came from the side where the grandstand stopped. After I’d passed the stand there was a big gush and how I didn’t collect us both was a miracle.
"You could see other riders weaving on the straight but that’s what happens when a circuit is built on an open airfield. It is so open and you are not in a bowl or a valley to get any protection. It was probably the worst wind I’ve ever ridden a MotoGP bike in.”