Moto GP

Cal Crutchlow focuses on early race pace at Catalunya test

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Following his unfortunate early crash out of podium contention in yesterday‰Ûªs race, Crutchlow dedicated the majority of his time on track today to working on improving his feeling with a full fuel tank at yesterdays MotoGp test session at Catalunya.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, Crutchlow tried several modifications to his YZR-M1 machine and he was happy to make positive steps that allowed him to feel more confident and faster with a full fuel load. The 27-year-old was fifth fastest and his best time of 1.42.462 that was less than 0.2s away from the top three.

He also tested a revised spec YZR-M1 frame but while it offered an improvement with braking stability, he will continue to race with the same chassis he‰Ûªs used in the opening six rounds when the campaign resumes in Assen.

‰ÛÏEach time I left the pits today I had a full fuel tank." Crutchlow explained. "That makes it difficult to make a lap time and it is hard to ride physically.

"I hope we have found something to help me at the start of the race. I want to be able to brake a bit deeper in the first few laps and it seems I can do that now. I‰Ûªm sure we have found something because we had a big tailwind today and I could still brake 15 metres later into the first corner than I could in the race when there was a headwind.

"I tested a new chassis that Jorge (Lorenzo) used at the first couple of races and it isn‰Ûªt any better than the frame I am on. I did the whole day on the new frame and braking stability was better but in other areas it didn‰Ûªt feel quite as good.

"At the end I went out again on my old chassis and was immediately as fast as before and I was using a set of tyres that had already done 25-laps. I felt immediately fast and more comfortable and I will continue to use that frame," the British rider concluded.
Bradley Smith cut his test session short to undergo a double operation on his left wrist.
Team-mate, Bradley Smith was able to test for a two-hour stint in the morning, the British rider completed 25 laps as he too evaluated front-end modifications to improve his pace with a full fuel tank.

The 22-year-old set a best time of 1.43.180 but cut short his day at noon to make the short trip to the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus of Barcelona where he was due to undergo a double operation on his left hand and wrist this evening.

Smith suffered a broken scaphoid bone in his left wrist and extensive damage to his left little finger when he crashed heavily during practice for the recent Italian MotoGP round at Mugello.

He bravely rode to a career best sixth position in yesterday‰Ûªs Gran Premi Aperol de Cataluna, but the considerable pain and discomfort from both injuries resulted in a decision to undergo surgery as quickly as possible.

A screw was due to be inserted to stabilise the scaphoid and a skin graft carried out to repair the open wound on his little finger. Dr Xavier Mir, Head of the Hand Surgery Unit of the Orthopaedics Department of the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus, will supervise the double procedure.

‰ÛÏThe main focus of today was to try a few different settings for the front, especially to help at the beginning of the race with a full fuel load. We seem to have a good pace after the first eight laps so we need to improve before that." Smith stated.

"I wouldn‰Ûªt say we found anything better but we found some ideas to try in the future and also give us some feedback on what works for my style. It is nice that we have been able to test because after six races I have more of an understanding of the bike, so I can give better feedback of what I like and don‰Ûªt like.

"My lap time was pretty decent and I was quite surprised so it was a positive day," Smith continued. "Now I am ready for the skin graft and to get a screw in the scaphoid.

"I can ride no problem and the lap time is not too bad but if I am going to go to Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, which are dominated by left-handers, then I need to do something with this wrist.

It wasn‰Ûªt great today and I wouldn‰Ûªt want to be doing another race. When you are in a situation like this it is better to get it fixed. Now we have to completely immobilize it to race, so at least when that bone is stable it should be pain free," he concluded.

Top Image: Cal Crutchlow is confident they have found a setting that will help him in the early stages of a race

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