Fifth for Crutchlow after solid opening day

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Despite spending most of the day in the lower reaches of the top half of the field Cal Cruthclow was pleased with his speed on the opening day in Assen. Crutchlow spent most of the day using a single set of tyres and as a result his laptimes were unimpressive in the afternoon session until the LCR Honda rider fitted fresh tyres and immediately shot to the front of the field to finish fifth fastest.

"We did both sessions on one set of tyres and then I put a new set in towards the end," said Crutchlow. "This is the reason why we were quite far down the order and outside the top ten initially. I think I was more concerned than the team. I did my fastest lap after 33 laps with the used tyre and then we put in the new tyres and went a second a lap faster.

"This is always the case but it was disappointing to see everyone going fast but still it’s difficult situation to be in. We had a few problems in a few areas with a little bit of chatter but overall I was quite pleased with how the bike was working and out consistency. I think we can be competitive this weekend."

When asked where he is looking for improvement Crutchlow said that it was actually quite a strange weekend because Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and himself are all strong in different sectors of the track. Finding the balance of what works best with the Honda will be the aim tomorrow for Crutchlow.

" Overall I’m pleased. We have to improve in some areas. I have the data from Dani and Marc. Marc’s special in some places here. Dani is special in different places. It’s difficult to gauge again with them two. It seems Dani is strong in one area, Marc another and me another again. It’s really difficult to try and put a lap time together and to see where you want to improve.

"Marc’s way or Dani’s way. I think I’m more suited to the way Marc is because Dani’s 20 kilos lighter. We have to push tomorrow but the soft tyre is giving them too much of an advantage. 24 litres is giving them 10 k an hour at the end of a tiny straight. It’s going to be difficult for the qualifying tomorrow I think."

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Steve English

By Steve English