Crutchlow: Different settings, same lap time

Cal Crutchlow does back-to-back evaluation of his 'completely different' Mugello and Catalunya settings, plus some aero work, at last week's Barcelona MotoGP test.
Crutchlow: Different settings, same lap time

Cal Crutchlow and the LCR Honda team spent last week's Catalunya post-race test evaluating 'a lot of small items', including aerodynamic parts, plus two completely differently set-ups for the 2019 RCV.

One set-up was from the previous Italian MotoGP at Mugello, while the other was used in the Catalunya race. But the Englishman and his team were left 'none the wiser' since, "I can do the same lap time on both settings."

Crutchlow - who fell while trying to pass Jack Miller for fourth in the closing stages of the Barcelona race - explained:

"My 'normal' bike, that I like best, is the one that uses the most energy because it is more difficult to change direction. Here at a circuit like this it is not that bad, or that hard, but at Mugello you’ll know about it.

"Again, you can change the bike [set-up] a big amount and still be able to do the same lap-time and have a similar feeling. We have to continue to evaluate that, but there will be no quick fix on I think.

"Overall I feel as good as I did in the race and I’ve used the same tyres, medium front and medium rear. I’m not interested in chasing lap times, just race pace."

While Marc Marquez has taken the latest Honda to a healthy world championship lead, Crutchlow has only one podium on the machine to date, with Jorge Lorenzo yet to even break the top ten.

Front-end feeling on corner entry is a common issue for both Crutchlow and Lorenzo. It may also be related to the heavy nature of the handling, which is costing the factory trio during high-speed changes of direction.

"The bike is hard to ride, as it always has been. All you have to do is watch the TV. But they [Honda] know that and it doesn't mean there is a quick fix to it," Crutchlow said.

"It’s a combination of many things I think and the thing that can be improved first is the turning. That will also help with the physicality, because we are forcing the bike to turn and change direction, and if it turns [better] then it will fall into the corner a little bit more."

The #35 added: "We are obviously always trying to improve [the front end] but at the moment I did not improve it with what we are testing.

"We’ll continue to give the information and I think with what Marc and Jorge are testing it might be improved, but I am on a different schedule to them. [We share testing between us] I think that is the correct way."

Crutchlow set the tenth fastest lap time at the test, which also saw team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (who usually races the 2018 spec Honda) try a 2019 machine for the first time.

The Honda riders still have their one fairing design update for this season available.