It was a mixed opening day for LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix after claiming P3 in the dry FP2 conditions, but he struggled to P14 in the wet.
All in all, it was a better Friday than 2018 was at Phillip Island for Crutchlow. Still suffering from that horrific ankle injury sustained at Turn 1 in Free Practice last season, you can forgive the British star for airing on the side of caution heading into the super scary Doohan Corner. Ever the gritty character however, the 33-year-old impressed in FP2 to head the Honda fight on the Island, but he admits that it’s a different story when the heavens open.
“Well one of my feet was smashed to pieces so I have no choice other than to start on the other one,” joked Crutchlow. “I feel OK. I don’t feel fantastic at the moment. Turn 1 I’m also a little bit scared sometimes going in there but today I did my fastest speed on entry in that last session. I think the fastest I’ve ever been into there: 343kph. So, I can’t be too scared, maybe I had a good slipstream or something. Overall, we’re happy enough with the day.”
It was a slightly downbeat Crutchlow reflecting on the first day, and that’s probably because the weather forecast is dismal for the rest of the weekend.
“As I said, I don’t feel fantastic on the bike and I need to improve in some areas. That session at the end was quite helpful as we got two dry sessions today. With the disastrous weather tomorrow, it won’t be too good,” continued the 2016 Australian GP winner. “I don’t feel good with the bike in the rain at all, I feel really, really bad. Let’s see if we can improve that feeling tomorrow and then hopefully the race is dry on Sunday.”
If forecasts are to be believed, Saturday looks set to be a rain-soaked day. FP3 will give Crutchlow the chance to hopefully find a better feeling in the sodden conditions, and you can watch that session live at 10:50 local time (GMT+11).