There was no repeat of 2013, 2016 and 2017 for Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) at the GoPro British Grand Prix as the home hero was unable to secure himself a front row start for Sunday’s race, with the Honda proving difficult to handle on a mostly-dry Silverstone circuit.
Conditions were tricky in Q2, with the bottom end of the circuit wet enough for the riders to go out on rain tyres, despite the rest of the track being dry enough for slicks. On reflection, Crutchlow was disappointed: “I’m obviously disappointed, I wanted the front row or pole position. But I did the best I could with the package that we have and the bike we have at the moment, as we know the Honda moves a lot, the bike slides a lot and when we have the wet tyre in the drying track it makes it slide a lot again.”
The British rider was the leading Honda in qualifying, but Crutchlow is concerned about the weather forecast on Sunday, with a lot more rain than Saturday predicted: “We need to concentrate on the race tomorrow and see what will happen but unfortunately it doesn’t look great with regards to the weather, that’s not great for us because I don’t think we can ride with the amount of rain that they say is going to come tomorrow.”
FP4 was red flagged after a few minutes of rain caused Turn 7 to be extremely dangerous, with four riders crashing in quick succession due to severe aquaplaning, with Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) also running into the gravel. As a result, Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was airlifted to hospital with suspected right leg fractures and with safety paramount, the 32-year-old isn’t hopeful a race may happen at all:
“There’s no chance of a dry race that’s for sure, we have to try and ride in the conditions, but we won’t be riding in anything like the water there was today, and they say it’s going to be 15x more rain tomorrow. Safety is the concern, as your saw today Tito was injured, and the helicopter needed to come back and this was the priority, our concern was for Tito and we also have to think of tomorrow. We had two or three minutes of rain and five guys hit the wall at the end of the back straight unfortunately, so we need to think about it.”