Crutchlow chasing 2018 feeling on 2019 Honda

'The feeling and confidence that I had with that [2018] bike is a lot more than I have with this one' - Cal Crutchlow.
Crutchlow chasing 2018 feeling on 2019 Honda

Cal Crutchlow's main goal for Monday's Jerez MotoGP test will be to try and recreate the feeling and confidence he had with the 2018 Honda chassis, on the latest 2019 bike.

"My problem is that the bike feels absolutely nothing like last year's bike," said the LCR rider.

Crutchlow, who finished eighth in Sunday's Spanish MotoGP after gambling on the medium rather than hard rear-tyre, added:

"We've done four races so I know the feeling of this year's bike, but I think the chassis side of things from last year I felt a lot, lot better.

"Don't forget, I rode the 18 bike this year [in testing]. So I've back-to-backed them and the feeling and confidence that I had with that bike is a lot more than I have with this one.

"Everyone will always say ‘Marc is winning on it’, but you have to accept that he's a different rider. It's not me. Maybe if he jumped on the ‘18 bike he'd not be as fast as he is on the '19.

"At the moment that's the way I'm feeling and we need to work on it.

"But I'm still confident, I still feel fast and I feel motivated. I'm looking at eighth place today as a bad result, but it means that you're in the top eight of the world."

Test rider Stefan Bradl had a carbon fibre-reinforced chassis during his wild-card appearance at Jerez, proving frame development is currently a priority for HRC. The German finished in a creditable tenth place.

Crutchlow was one of only two riders to fit the medium rear tyre, but his chances of making a success of it were hampered with a poor start that dropped him from sixth to eighth.

"I shouldn't have chosen [the medium] but I didn't know how the race was going to pan out. I thought I would get a lot better start. Say I'd entered the first corner in fourth, which is usually the case because I usually make up positions, but instead I lost two positions.

"I didn't have a good feeling with the clutch and I didn't get the biting point in the right place. You'll see I fall to the side because I'm prepared for the bike to go, but it didn't. So I had to go again and I'd already lost the drive."

Crutchlow confirmed he has adjusted his start technique following the jump-start penalty in Argentina, where he was punished for the bike rolling forwards while the clutch was still engaged.

"I have to ram the rear brake on," he said.

"I had my best [practice] starts of the year this weekend, then in the race I had my worst start probably out of anything. But you have some good starts, you have some bad starts and this one was a bad one. I lost positions and at a circuit like this it’s really difficult to make it back up.

"I definitely didn't come here to finish eighth. But that's what we got and we have to accept it. I chose the wrong rear tyre and it's a simple as that. It was my choice. I didn't feel fast on the hard rear tyre all weekend. I felt fast on the medium at one point but we never knew the duration of it and it was really bad!

"The last 10 laps of the race I was sliding. Then the last 5 laps I had absolutely no grip at all. It was spinning on the straight and if it's spinning on the straight you're definitely not going to go round the corners very well!"

Repsol Honda's Jorge Lorenzo, the only other rider to select the medium rear, finished in twelfth place.

Crutchlow is now ninth in the world championship standings.