Cal Crutchlow finished the second Sepang pre-season test in fine fashion with the third quickest time of the week. The CWM-LCR Honda rider was only outpaced by Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo and while he was delighted to have overcome his new tyre issues, Crutchlow still sees areas where he can make further progress.
“For a track that I dislike, that’s my fastest ever lap around here by nearly eight-tenths of a second. I felt good and comfortable on the bike, and it’s not a bad lap considering the conditions of the circuit today. I’m happy enough with how things are, but I still need to improve my riding style. The corner speed isn’t too bad, but although straight line braking is good, the other riders can take more risks than me in the moments just after. That’s a confidence thing though, and as the exit from the corners isn’t too bad I still think there is more to come. In my earlier race simulation we didn’t have any braking power with the bike – exactly the same problem as Marc Marquez had earlier this week. As I have said we have been struggling with corner entry as it was, but I was still really riding well in my long run, it felt quite good but I was losing a second maybe on some laps just from being unable to stop with the brakes.”
Teammate Jack Miller finished the week down in 22nd spot but the Australian rookie was competitive with the other production Honda riders and is satisfied with his current rate of progress.
“I’m really happy with how the test has gone and I have worked hard on the bike but also on myself in order to get more comfortable as the laps go on. We’re not too far off. I’m the second of the rookie riders out there so that makes me happy because there are some other more experienced guys that have been used to bigger bikes behind me, so it’s good to be where we are. Of course, we’re still not quite as fast as we would like to be, but everybody’s putting out some really quick times – my team-mate Cal did a scorcher this morning – so it’s not easy at the moment, but it’s good to feel like we’re making progress. For now I’m reasonably pleased overall, but I will admit that I’m looking forward to the next test in Qatar, which is a track that’s a different style and a bit more flowing. It will be good to get there and try out another circuit on this bike.”