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Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) has had a very positive preseason indeed. Third in Sepang, fourth overall in Thailand and finishing the #QatarTest in the same P4, the Brit’s positive positions on the timesheets have also been reflected in his positivity when debriefing at each test, with some positives and negatives but, overall, a happy number 35.
At Losail – the venue that, traditionally, is one of the toughest for Honda, that positivity largely remained. But one thing the Brit said was that they were focusing on taming the power more in Qatar – with it seeming more aggressive in these conditions than at previous outings in Sepang and Buriram.
Crutchlow: "We’re trying to tame the power a bit"
“Overall we seem fast, I’m pleased with my pace and the team have done a good job,” says Crutchlow. “We’re also trying to tame the power of the bike a bit, because from corner to corner here is a lot different to the two other circuits we’ve ridden the new engine at, and it seems a bit difficult in places.”
Overall, however, Honda seem to have made big steps forward with acceleration more than anything, with Marquez’ Crew Chief Santi Hernandez also having explained that HRC’s improved top speed stats are more affected by the Japanese manufacturer’s ability to brake later – and the big progress is in acceleration. So as the first race weekend appears on the horizon, how ready is Crutchlow?
“I would say Cal is 10/10 ready,” says LCR Honda Castrol Team Manager Lucio Cecchinello, beginning to grin. “We are very satisfied with the winter tests. Honda and the team have done great work and we’re satisfied with the results. We feel ready for the start of the season.”
MotoGP™ Rewind: #QatarTest
That season gets in gear on the 16th March at the same Losail International Circuit.