Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards have admitted that the team need to make improvements to the YZR-M1 if they are to challenge for a strong grid position at the German Grand Prix.
Crutchlow's day was marred by a fall in the afternoon session after the Briton had run wide through turn nine. Fortunately, the accident did no further damage to the previously injured collarbone and the 25 year old felt that the only damage done was the loss of track time.
“It doesn’t look good at all on paper but it is a lot better than it looks and I’m not too concerned. The times are pretty close and I was consistent at the end of the session when I was running a really old rear tyre after the crash. I lost precious time with the crash, which I can’t really afford when I’m trying to learn the track. I went slow at the start of the lap and then I saw Stoner in the distance and tried to follow his line but just ran a bit wide in Turn 9. It is pretty fast and I ran onto the grass but hit the biggest pothole I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t hold on. At least I tested the left shoulder out that I broke at Silverstone and it survived with no issues.”
“This track is really tight and twisty and not that easy to learn, even though it is one of the shortest on the calendar. We worked a lot on improving the front-end feel today and we are making some progress but you always want more. Finishing 14th is not our usual position because normally I’ve been around eighth to sixth, but I know with some more improvements we can move higher up the timesheets.”
Crutchlow finished 14th in the combined times, three places behind teammate Edwards who also had a tricky start to the weekend. The American battled with low tyre temperatures in the morning before suffering a lack of rear traction in the afternoon.
“I’ve definitely had easier Friday’s than this that’s for sure”, he admitted. “I don’t really know why but I never seem to get on with this track. My relationship with this track didn’t exactly get the best start back in 2003 with the barbecue at the bottom of the hill, and since then I’ve always found it difficult here. I always seem to have to end up turning the bike inside out to get a setting that works.”
“This morning was pretty difficult because I couldn’t generate enough heat in the right side of the front tyre and I guess I just wasn’t willing to push that hard and risk crashing. We saw what happened to the likes of Valentino and Dani and I felt that was going to happen to me with the way the right side of the front felt. But it was cold and windy and definitely not ideal conditions.”
“I used the hard front and rear compound this afternoon for the whole session and we made the bike better. But I still need more rear traction. That’s been my biggest struggle. It feels like I’m just skating on top of the tarmac but we’ve got some ideas to try tomorrow and I know we are going in the right direction to be closer to the front guys.”