MotoGP: Crutchlow not getting carried away with day one lead

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LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow says he’s not getting carried away just yet with his Jerez pace, after topping the first day of European action in the 2018 MotoGP championship yesterday.

The Brit had a good start to the weekend to end up fastest overall, but despite that he says that while he’s aiming for the front row in today’s qualifying session he’s keeping a grip on himself for now.

“Yeah, the bike feels good at the minute. The track is different to when I tested here in November, it was cold and very, very grippy then, now it’s quite greasy. I seem to be able to do the lap times quite well, the tyres are holding up well – the soft and medium anyway, on the rear – which we’ll use tomorrow. But we also need to try the hard as I think that will be the race tyre. But yeah, we’re confident enough with the bike, it’s going well.

“We went through some different settings, it didn’t feel great with the wings on the bike which I tried for the first time this year. It was quite windy out there and it was not reacting very well to that and we’ve had no time on the wings so the set up wasn’t great. But I feel good, it’s nice to be on top again. Now we have to work with the team tonight and then go into tomorrow with positivity and hopefully get on the front row.”

He had a better day than fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez, who crashed out of free practice two at the end of the session, managing to salvage fifth place but not too upset about losing the chance for a fast lap.

“I’m generally happy with my first day here at Jerez because I think we did good work. We did a lot of laps on used tyres, and that’s important in view of the race. I had a small crash in the end with a front tyre that already had 27 laps on it, but it was mainly my mistake because I just braked too late into the corner. It seems that the Hondas are strong here, especially Dani, so we’ll see if we can get closer.

“It will be interesting to see how the tyres react to the higher temperature that’s expected tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep a good pace and continue our direction of work, which I think is the correct one. This track is usually a bit challenging for me, but this year I feel good on the bike and am ready to fight for the podium and even the victory.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer