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9 days ago
By motogp.com

Crutchlow on Honda: “They’ve definitely improved the engine”

Some words from the Brit, who topped the timesheets on Day 1 in Buriram

Despite an early crash on Friday and having endured a bad night’s sleep, LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow got his #ThaiTest off to a flier as he topped the timesheets on Friday. Testing for HRC, it was a good omen for both the British rider and the Japanese marque – with Repsol Honda teammates Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa also in the top five.

#ThaiTest: Riders' reactions from Day 1

“I had a not too bad day considering we’ve not been to the circuit before, I think only a couple of guys have, but I think we’ve continued to ride well after Malaysia,” says Crutchlow – later adding a few more details on his morning: ““I didn’t have a good day this morning and I’ve had jet lag. I didn’t feel great. I didn’t feel psychically tired but I wanted to sleep! But maybe if I did that on a race weekend I could go a lot quicker…!”

Joking aside, the Brit did crash in the morning – a minor tip off at the last corner with no damage to man or machine – and explains it’s bumpy; also catching out a few others including fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. “I crashed this morning on the fifth lap or something but I wasn’t concentrating so well. There are a few bumps on the last corner and it’s a tricky corner. But that’s why we’re here to test.”

Highlights: Crutchlow fastest, Ducati unveils new fairings

On the specifics of testing, Crutchlow was positive – especially about the engine.

“I felt good in Malaysia and the HRC engineers over the winter have done a good job,” affirms the two-time Grand Prix winner. “Last year we were lacking something but this year we’ve found it. We still have some of the same problems, but we’ve found something this year that’s helped us to be more competitive. I’m pleased with how the team’s working. And they’ve definitely improved the engine. Acceleration I’m not sure, we have to look at the data from Sepang. I’m pleased with the engine, but we need to continue working on the rest of the bike.”

Tomorrow will be the first chance for Crutchlow to keep testing and carry on – with the session beginning at 9:30am local time (GMT +7) for Day 2 of 3 in Thailand.