Corner entry holds Crutchlow back on Day 1

But a P4 for last year’s Argentina GP winner on Friday with room to improve suggests the Briton is well in the hunt

LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow ended Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina fourth on the timesheets, his 1:39.346 a slender 0.165 back from first place Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati).

After his comeback podium in Qatar, and having won in Termas de Rio Hondo last year, Crutchlow came into the weekend hoping for more of the same. A P4 on Friday suggests he’s had a positive day in Argentina, which he has, but there’s plenty of room to improve according to the three-time Grand Prix race winner.

“The track conditions were not great at all. It was quite slippy today for some reason, I think we went faster last year in FP1 than what we went today and it’s strange because it hasn’t rained for two days but there’s still wet patches on the track, It’s going to be quite a difficult day tomorrow and Sunday, if it rains through the night, to be able to work towards the race,” explained Crutchlow.

“Overall it was a positive day,” continued the Honda rider, who admitted he didn’t feel great on the bike in a particular area on Friday. “I thought the position was not too bad. I didn’t feel fantastic with the bike on corner entry so to come away with a fourth place and with some room to improve with our package as well, as we weren’t riding the full package from Qatar but we will be tomorrow.”

Crutchlow was then asked about the fact that the top 21 are covered by less than a second in an incredible FP2 session.

“I don’t know why? It’s always a close circuit for lap time but in the race it seems to break up quite a lot; it’s a strange situation. Some people are able to really push over that one lap but our aim is obviously the race, our aim is also to do a good qualifying and be up the grid.”

But the number 35 admits he’s been struggling with his launches this season, so Crutchlow is hoping to start as far up the grid as possible to limit the potential damage of a bad start on Sunday.

“But I won from 10th last year so I know I can win from 10th. If I’m further up the gird maybe it’ll be a little bit easier. Our bike is not starting very well at the moment. Compared to last year where we had some very good starts, we’re all struggling in that area to get the bike off the line in a good way, so I need to qualify better than tenth and we’re quite lucky it’s only a short run to the first corner here.”

See how the British rider fairs on Saturday when the premier class head out for FP3 at 10:50 local time (GMT-3), before qualifying commences at 15:05 with Q1.

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