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“Improvements” but “a lot of work to do” for Crutchlow

Briton happier on Day 2 than on Day 1 at the Qatar Test, but believes he’s still two seconds off “the best shape possible”

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) ends Day 2 at the Qatar Test in much higher spirits than he was after the opening day with the British rider managing to set the ninth quickest time on Sunday – a 1:55.247 putting him 0.654 off P1.

Crutchlow described the opening day at the Losail International Circuit as “terrible” and he continues to try and find the best settings and feelings with the 2019 RC213V, having missed the Valencia and Jerez Tests through injury at the end of 2018.

What do the riders say after the first day of testing?

“Yeah, day one was not very positive at all. To be honest, we had a terrible day yesterday with not being able to find the right setting with the bike and me not feeling good and comfortable, and it seems most of the Hondas were struggling yesterday,” began the number 35 rider, who completed another 35 laps on Day 2.

“Today seems a little bit more of an improvement, maybe not so much on my side of the garage, but it seems the Repsol Team have improved their package a little bit. But we are working on different programmes, today especially, tomorrow we will start to work on the same sorts of bikes and the same sort of settings. But honestly speaking I’m happier today than I was yesterday obviously. But we have a lot of work to do I believe.”

Crutchlow has been busy trying different parts for Honda and even emerged on one of teammate Takaaki Nakagami’s (LCR Honda Idemitsu) 2018 bikes on Day 2. But the Briton was keeping his cards close to his chest as to why that was:

“Yeah I have some different things I was trying for Honda. You’ll have to ask Honda to comment on which bikes I have in the garage and for the reasons. But the test programme is well and we are testing everything that we had planned.”

And what about his physical condition? The aforementioned injury that kept him out of the initial 2019 preseason tests seriously affected Crutchlow’s winter training too, so the Honda rider is playing catch up ahead of the season opener in Qatar.

What's new with Viñales' M1 in Qatar?

“I feel ok, not too bad. At the moment we aren’t in a good rhythm and we don’t have the settings with the bike to do a long run, that’s sure. We have too many things to do to before doing a long run. To do a long run you want to do it in the best shape possible, but at the moment we’re probably two seconds off the best shape possible.”

Can Crutchlow continue to improve on the final day of the Qatar Test? It’s a vital day for every rider and team, so keep up to date with Live Timing and also tune into a live After the Flag episode from 21:30 local time (GMT +3), brought to you by Matt Birt, MotoGP™ Legend Randy Mamola and Simon Crafar. 

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass