Cal Crutchlow pulled no punches after the British rider endured one of the worst days of an excellent 2013 MotoGP campaign at the Misano track today.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was left languishing down in a lowly 10th place at the end of the first day of practice and his best lap of 1.35.208 was a massive 1.008s slower than world championship leader Marc Marquez.
Struggling with a lack of confidence with the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine after a disappointing and frustrating run in recent races, Crutchlow made no excuses for his struggle to be on a competitive pace in San Marino.
The right arm he badly damaged in the first of three bone-jarring crashes in his home race at Silverstone earlier this month is still not fully healed, but it was machine rather than physical issues that were holding back the Isle of Man-based star.
“My arm is tight. It has still got some fluid in it but that’s not the reason I am going slow. Physically on the bike I feel fine but I am riding s**t, simple as that. I have no excuses and I am not going to sit and fill you with a load of ‘I need this or that.’
"I went faster last year on what was probably a worse bike. I don’t have the new gearbox but that’s not the problem for me being that far off,“ said Crutchlow.
Explaining the main issues he added: “We have a few problems but it is mainly confidence to turn the bike into the corner. In the front the grip is not great but everybody is having an issue. I nearly crashed four times and in all honestly I was not willing to crash, so I rode round and finished 10th.”
Crutchlow said he was at a loss to explain why he has experienced such a sudden loss in form since he almost beat Marquez to win the Sachsenring race in Germany in mid-July.
He hasn’t come close to finishing on the podium in the four races since and he said: “I need five good laps and my confidence will be fine but at the moment I can’t do one good lap. Today I wasn’t willing to crash and I am not saying I’m riding the bike s**t but I am just not fast and I can’t tell you why.
"The last time I felt fast was the Sachsenring and since it has been a disaster and I am not too impressed at the moment.”
Crutchlow denied constant speculation about his future around the summer break had been a distraction and when asked by MCN why it had all gone awry since Germany he said: “After the Germany race I had everything sat at my feet.
"I had a Yamaha, Honda and a Ducati contract and I made decisions after Laguna where I was useless. All that stuff has got nothing to do with it but at the minute we are on a downward spiral that’s for sure.
"Why? I don’t know. This weekend I wanted to turn up, ride the bike and don’t touch it. But it was impossible because the Yamaha base setting I couldn’t ride it and I wouldn’t have even lasted five laps.”