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Crutchlow: Honda has "embarrassing" out-lap handicap

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Crutchlow: Honda has "embarrassing" out-lap handicap
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Co-author: Valentin Khorounzhiy

Cal Crutchlow says the current Honda’s performance on out-laps is “embarrassing”, and believes this played a part in Marc Marquez’s MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix FP1 crash.

Marquez was thrown from his RC213V late on in the first practice session at the Turn 7 right-hander while off-throttle, and had to go to hospital for precautionary checks before returning to action in FP2.

Honda boss Alberto Puig told media following FP1 he believed dirt on Marquez’s fresh rear tyre was the cause, with Marquez later admitting a combination of that and the fact he completely shut off the throttle were perhaps to blame.

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However, Crutchlow refutes this and believes the fact the Honda has “no grip” on out-laps compared to the other bikes on the grid led to Marquez’s crash.

“It’s not a dirty tyre,” Crutchlow replied when asked what caused Marquez’s crash.

“I think he didn’t lean enough in Turn 3, but when you come through there and the tyre – it’s a very typical Honda thing – we have no grip in the out-laps compared to the other bikes.

“If we follow another manufacturer in the out-lap it’s so difficult because we don’t load the tyres the same way.

“He highsided off-gas, and it’s because the weight is not there to push it [the tyre].

“I followed [Petronas Yamaha rider Franco] Morbidelli on an out-lap in the second run this morning, and honestly it was embarrassing; I might as well have been on a wet track trying to go round the corner the same speed as him, because we [Honda riders] need an extra lap [to prepare the tyre].

“If you have a look in the practices, the first flying lap after we leave the pits on a used tyre is always way different to the next lap. We need that extra lap to be able to make the tyre work.”

Crutchlow "can't sleep" due to tendonitis

Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda

Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

LCR rider Crutchlow spent Friday battling a tendonitis issue, which he thinks has flared up due to the aggressive nature of the RC213V and the busy recent schedule – but says this had “absolutely nothing to do” with him struggling to 13th in practice.

“I have chronic tendonitis in my right arm,” he explained. “I could already feel it coming in Aragon. I had it some years ago, in 2015 or ’16.

“You manage to get ride of it in the end, but you get rid of it with rest and I’ve got four races on the bounce basically from now.

“I tried to rest it after Aragon. It’s the bicep tendon, now it’s gone into the shoulder and I have tennis elbow as well because it’s just all compensating [on the bike].

“Just with the run of Silverstone, Misano test and Misano race all really close and a bike that is not easy to ride, it’s as simple as that.”

He added: “Honestly, in the night I can’t sleep, the thing’s just killing me. I can’t lift my bottle of water. To ride here is proving quite difficult.”

Marquez "couldn't breathe" for five seconds after crash

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Thailand GP
Drivers Cal Crutchlow , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Author Lewis Duncan