Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards would have been hoping for some consistent weather for the free practice sessions ahead of this weekends Italian Grand Prix, Crutchlow looking to learn yet another new track, and Edwards looking to get some running in under dry conditions to evaluate how his ribs are recovering.
However the Italian weather had its own ideas. After a strong first session that saw Edwards claim 6th place despite riding through the pain barrier, the second session was a washout, with light rain falling at the start of the session. With the track too slippy for slicks, but not wet enough for wets, Edwards remained in the garage.
After the session, Edwards was full of praise for the track, especially the new surface that has recently been laid. He said. “This morning was great and the new surface here is phenomenal. They’ve done an unbelievable job because the grip is awesome and all the bumps that really upset the bike have all gone too. We know the spring rates on the suspension we normally need to use for this track but we’ve got to go harder for tomorrow because I’ve got so much traction the bike is set too soft and its sitting down in the middle of the corner.”
He continued, “The only problem I had again today was my ribs that are still causing me a lot of pain after the crash in Catalunya. With the few days rest after Assen I was starting to think the muscle damage was on the mend and I could at least sneeze without bursting into tears with the pain. But this morning I felt back to square one and to be honest this afternoon wasn’t great for the TV or for the fans, but that rest will probably help me out for the rest of the weekend.”
Crutchlow was left to rue the lost time in the afternoon session, as he looks to learn one of the most technically challenging circuits on the calendar. “Without doubt, this is the most difficult track I’ve had to learn so far this year, but I think 11th position is still a good result and I think with a few more laps under my belt I’d have been into the top ten.” said Cal.
“The track is so technical and there is a lot of undulation, a lot of blind corner entries and you can’t see the exit of the fast chicanes. So it is a difficult track to go fast o n and it is also a very physically demanding track, though the left collarbone I broke at Silverstone isn’t too uncomfortable. I’m just upset because I’ve lost another session because of the rain and that is the last thing I need when I’m trying to learn the track and set some competitive times.” he continued.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Crutchlow finalised, “When you miss a session it makes the rest of the weekend difficult, but I’ll do my best to get a good grid position in qualifying tomorrow. I’m also looking to improve the front-end feeling tomorrow. The front this morning was too vague and we had some ideas to improve it this afternoon but the weather was no good.”