Cal Crutchlow 'not comfortable' on new Honda yet

LCR's Cal Crutchlow admits he is “not comfortable” on the 2019 Honda yet, but says this is nothing to do with RC213V itself, which he believes is “better” than last year's.

The Sepang pre-season test marked the first time since breaking his ankle in a crash during the Australian Grand Prix weekend Crutchlow has ridden a MotoGP bike, and ended up top Honda rider in sixth overall. 

Crutchlow feels the 2019 RC213V is a big enough step forward over its predecessor to be “competitive for the championship”, but is not yet comfortable on it. 

“I don't feel comfortable on it at the moment to be honest, but that's me,” said Crutchlow of the new Honda.

“I think the bike is better, but my feeling I need to adjust the bike more. I'm a guy who can ride quite a neutral bike, but I haven't found a perfect setting with the front of the bike. 

“But overall the package, HRC has done a good job, I think they've brought us a bike that can be competitive for the championship. I look forward to riding it this year.”

Commenting on his physical condition after three days of riding, Crutchlow says his ankle is in “good shape” and is not giving him any problems while on the bike. 

“My ankle was getting sore and hot and swollen,” he added. 

“But I feel I'm in good shape, the ankle is in good shape. It doesn't bother me on the bike, it bothers me when I stop. 

“So I kept the runs, the length of the runs quite minimal today, we didn't need to do anything big. We were testing items more today than testing for race pace.”

Crash result of riding 'like a madman'

Crutchlow suffered his second crash of the test on Friday, when he tipped off at Turn 2 while pushing “like a madman” in an attempt to gain “half a second” in the first sector of his time attack lap.

“I should have went a lot faster but I crashed. It was completely my own fault. 

“I went into Turn 2 over-excited. I lost three tenths in the first sector compared to a good lap [on my previous tour]. 

“So the next lap I pushed like a madman, thinking I could go half a second faster than what I had done the previous lap. 

“I had some chatter, tried to save it and I crashed. That was with the really soft tyre, the test tyre and I think on average you could take about six to eight tenths off. 

“So I'm confident we could have gone a lot quicker, but I never made it and we didn't use that tyre again the rest of the day.”