Crutchlow starts Catalunya weekend with blistering pace on first day
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso set a scorching pace in baking hot conditions at the Catalunya track this afternoon to finish the opening day of practice for the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya inside the top four.
With temperatures at the technically demanding Catalunya circuit soaring to a sizzling 29 degrees, Crutchlow and Dovizioso were able to carry out vital work on the set-up of their YZR-M1 machines in preparation for Sunday’s 25-lap race.
Crutchlow imp ressed in this morning’s sun drenched opening session to set the fourth fastest time in a closely contested practice that saw the top 11 split by less than 0.8s. After tweaking the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to improve grip as track temperatures rocketed to over 50 degrees, Crutchlow was able to lap over 0.8s faster this afternoon.
The British rider’s best pace of 1.42.477 put him third on the combined leaderboard and he was just 0.348s behind World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, who set the opening day pace in front of his home crowd.
Cal Crutchlow 3rd 1.42.447 – 38 laps: “Today was a good start to the weekend and I was fast and competitive in both sessions. The bike was working well right from the start but we can definitely improve it for the rest of the weekend. I need to focus on being faster in the last two corners. On times I’m not too bad in that part of the track but I don’t feel very comfortable, so we need to work on the setting to improve in that section for tomorrow. I am not so far away from the top and can definitely improve my pace, but my best time was done on the soft tyre at the end. I see Casey and Dani only used the hard tyre, so you have to believe that they will be much higher up. I am still happy with my performance today and it is always good to make a positive and fast start to the weekend to build up confidence.”
Source: Team Tech3