Cal Crutchlow is worried tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix will be a struggle for him if he experiences the same problems that have affected his weekend so far. The Briton qualified fifth, blaming a “big vibration” for his failure to get on the front row, and is mystified as to the cause of the problem.
“After qualifying on the front row at the last four races I should be pretty disappointed with fifth position and I am. To be honest I am not happy with the performance of the bike and I had the same issue that struck in qualifying last weekend in Japan. I had a big vibration and all the changes we made to improve the situation didn’t work. It felt like I had zero grip and we can see the problems on the data but we still haven’t been able to identify what is causing the vibration. We have a lot of work to do tonight and I will be sitting down with my crew and analysing a lot of data to come up with a plan for the race. If the situation remains the same for the race it will be really difficult and demanding. As always I will try my best and the main goal will be to claw back some of the points I lost to Alvaro and Valentino with the bad luck in Japan.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso did qualify on the front row though, taking a sensational third having challenged for pole in the latter stages. The Italian is even more confident about his pace over longer runs and hopes to keep Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa honest tomorrow.
“I am very happy with today’s front row because it is confirmation of how strong we have been all weekend. I have to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because in every session we have made progress with the set-up of the bike and for qualifying we made another big improvement. It is always good to be on the front row but the pleasing aspect is my race pace. I am very close to Lorenzo and Dani and my goal will be to stay with them for as long as possible tomorrow. With more rain earlier it meant the track was quite slippery, but normally when that is the case I am very fast and again today I have proved that. Hopefully it will be a dry race tomorrow but if it is raining then it will be the same for everybody and nobody has an advantage because we haven’t tested on a full wet track.”