Cal Crutchlow facing tyre choice dilemma

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Cal Crutchlow is undecided on whether he will run Bridgestone’s hard or soft compound rear tyre in a Catalunya MotoGP clash tomorrow (Sunday) that is expected to take place in searing hot conditions

The British rider claimed a ninth career front row in punishing 30-degree heat at the Catalunya track near Barcelona today with a best lap of 1.41.501 that was only beaten by the record-breaking exploits of home crowd favourite Dani Pedrosa.

The Repsol Honda rider beat Casey Stoner’s circuit best lap of 1.41.186 set in 2008 with a blistering lap of 1.40.893 that put the world championship leader over 0.6s of Crutchlow and the chasing pack.

The big issue for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Crutchlow, who hadn’t claimed a front row grid slot since the opening round in Qatar, is deciding on whether to start the 25-lap race on the hard or soft compound rear tyre.

Crutchlow is not in an exclusive club with every rider pondering which rear tyre to select and he said: “I can do the same pace on both tyres so the front tyre will be hard but for the rear I don’t know. I'm in two minds. The soft is good but I can also do the lap times with the harder tyre, which is unlike my style.

I don't see any reason why we can't race the hard tyre but we will assess it in the morning. Both the hard and the soft wear a lot but I have come here and kept the ball rolling from the past couple of races and this is my first front row since Qatar.”

Crutchlow is aiming to continue his purple patch of form tomorrow that has seen him collect back-to-back podiums in Le Mans and Mugello.

Asked about his prospects of making it a hat-trick he said: “It can definitely be done but it will be difficult. There are many riders on the same pace and Dani and Jorge have a little over some of the others. 

I need to get away with those guys and we know the speed and consistency of Jorge and Dani’s lap today was incredible. It's nice to be on the front with these guys and I hope to do good job in the race."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt