Cal Crutchlow set the fourth fastest time in a one-day MotoGP test session at Misano yesterday (Monday) to further build-up his confidence for the final phase of the 2013 world championship campaign.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider finished sixth in Sunday’s Misano race to bounce back to form after a nightmare British Grand Prix saw three heavy crashes erode his confidence.
Before the 28-lap race at Misano, Crutchlow had struggled to recapture the form that has taken him to four podiums and two pole positions in 2013 with a lack of front-end confidence with his YZR-M1 machine.
He spent the majority of the one-day testing working on improving his braking performance and he was satisfied with progress having finished behind Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, who all set their quickest pace using 2014 spec Honda and Yamaha machinery.
But while he feels yesterday’s test went some way to helping him gain more confidence, the 27-year-old still doesn’t believe he is fast enough to challenge for the podium at present.
He said: “I got a little bit more confidence back but I am not getting over excited because it is only a test and it is no good being good on a Monday and being s**t on a Sunday. I feel happier than what I did over the weekend and at Silverstone. I still think if the race was today it would be difficult to beat the top four but I believe we’d have been a lot closer.
Yesterday (Sunday) was a race of survival and making sure I finished. I was surprised that I finished sixth but we have gained some confidence back. I did some good runs, I was happy and I felt comfortable and my lap times were consistent. We have still got some work to do with me and the bike but we are going in the right direction.”
Crutchlow was able to find some confidence with new Ohlins rear shock settings helping his feeling in the final phase of braking and he added: “I tried something in the rear shock that Yamaha suggested and it worked better. I seemed to find a bit more grip and a lot more in the braking zone. Not too much in the first part of the braking zone but more towards the end.”