Cal Crutchlow admits he is struggling to adapt his riding style to the Ducati GP14 around Silverstone after another tough day on board the Desmosedici on Friday. The home favourite could only manage fourteenth after struggling to get to grips with his machine and as the Coventry rider explained, he is having to deviate from the style he is used to and is finding that challenge a tough one.
“I’ve ridden a different manufacturer for three years. You have to change your style to remember the track and remember the way you rode it the last three years. At the Misano test, it took me 10-15 laps to start riding it properly and more like a Ducati but here you haven’t got fifteen laps. You have to push instantly and your natural instinct is to ride like you rode last time which isn’t necessarily how to go fast with this bike. I have to change a little bit more for tomorrow but I believe we can improve the setting. I think if we can improve towards how Dovi’s riding and also Iannone, we’ll get a lot quicker.”
“I haven’t changed my style enough in the first two sessions to ride more like a Ducati. I have no grip from the tyres, a lot of floating around in the corner. Stopping the bike and turning in is not too bad at the moment but finishing the corner off is really difficult and with the track being so long, you lose one or two seconds really easily.”
Crutchlow’s problems are particularly frustrating coming hot on the heels of a productive test at Misano earlier this week.
“At Misano when we tested earlier on in the week, it went quite well. We managed to make a lot better lean angle than we’ve managed to make over the year but when I turn up here, I’m unable to make the lean angle again in the space of four days. Maybe I’ll find it in my pocket or something over the next couple of hours!”
Having ridden Silverstone on Yamaha machinery for the past three seasons, Crutchlow opened up on the differences between the two motorcycles and the different approach required to get the best out of each.
“You have to brake as late as possible, not carry as much corner speed, but be able to spin the bike on the exit of the corner. Doing that is very different to what I’m used to. I’ve been used to braking early and throwing the bike into the corner and have the grip to be able to go round the corner. The Ducati’s improved significantly since the start of the year and corner entry is a lot better but my problem is the middle of the corner and the exit.”