British rider Cal Crutchlow has admitted it will be a hugely difficult challenge preventing rookie sensation Marc Marquez from romping to a third straight win in 2013 at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow.
The Repsol Honda rider’s purple patch continued in emphatic fashion today when he dominated qualifying with a record lap of 1.37.958.
No other rider was able to lap within 0.5s of the reigning Moto2 world champion, with Jorge Lorenzo the closest but 0.513s back.
Ducati-bound Crutchlow finished fourth and only missed out on claiming a fifth front row start of the campaign by just 0.017s.
But the 27-year-old fears Marquez will be unstoppable in tomorrow’s race as the Spaniard seeks to extend his 26-point advantage over teammate Pedrosa.
Crutchlow, who clocked best time of 1.38.502, told MCN: “I always have to be confident and do the best job and go with Marc but it will be very difficult. Marquez tomorrow could be his own worst enemy because he has no big threat from Jorge or Dani. I think they are both doing faster lap times than last year but they haven't got Marc's pace. Marc is riding incredible."
Tomorrow’s 27-lap battle will give Crutchlow his first chance to race a new fuel tank and seat unit given to him by Yamaha from this weekend onwards and for the remainder of the season.
The former World Superport champion has struggled with a full fuel tank in the early laps using the old tank position and seat unit.
But he now has the same spec as factory duo Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. The fuel is located further back, helping Lorenzo and Rossi stop their YZR-M1 machines with a full fuel load in the early laps.
Crutchlow said: “I have the tank under the seat now at this race. I can't tell you if it is better because I haven't raced the first laps. But I don't expect it to be that much better here because the track surface is slippery and in the first laps you don't push as hard here as you do at other tracks. At the moment I feel zero difference compared to any other track but it only helps at the start of the race."