Cal Crutchlow experienced several frightening moments as Phillip Island tire testing began on Monday, but insists that these are helping both himself and Bridgestone as the Japanese tire company looks to continue develop.
The point of this week’s test in Australia is to develop tires that are able to cope with a full race distance, unlike those of last year which were unable to cope with the higher average speeds on a new track surface. On Monday, Crutchlow was second quickest to Jorge Lorenzo as the three-day test commenced.
“We used the tire we had used in the race and I had absolutely no problem with that tire – I felt quite good with it,” Ducati Team’s Crutchlow started to explain. “The grip was a little low this morning, but I was happy enough. Then we started to make some changes with the bike over lunch time and to test the new tires.
“I think two of the guys had a different plan to us; we had the construction difference and the other guys had the rubber difference. Trust me…the construction difference is a lot worse! I nearly went over the handlebars 12 times in five laps! There was no grip at all. With my riding style, I like to keep the corner as an arc a lot more – like Lorenzo – so the side grip is very important. He was testing the rubber today and I was testing the construction. Apparently that is going to swap around tomorrow, so maybe the stuff we will be trying will be better.”
Despite avoiding numerous crashes on Day 1, Crutchlow stresses that it is vital that the riders have been with this opportunity to provide feedback to the tire supplier.
“It’s good, to be able to give Bridgestone that information,” the Englishman continued. “We also had it backed up by the other rider who was testing the construction. We then went back to the normal tire again and it felt better.”
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso ended the day in fifth position, although the Italian missed the first few hours after feeling ill overnight.
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