The first tests of the season are tough days. Cal Crutchlow, who's a veteran of the category in his tenth season in the top class, knows this well. The British rider is an expert Honda connoisseur who has been riding since 2015, so who can analyze the evolution of the RC213V in recent years better than he? Cal, what has changed on this bike?
“Last year's engine was better than the 2018 one, and this year's has improved even more. We have to congratulate the technicians for this. But the feelings I got with the frame were better in 2018, yet this doesn't mean that we haven't made any progress because our bike finished all the races in first and second position last year, and I also got good results. Now we have a new engine and a completely different frame, and we're testing everything, but I can't hide that I'd like to go back to having the positive feelings I had in 2018 with the front. It would be easier, and we'd be much faster and more competitive."
When did you lose this feeling?
“It's seems like we're always slow in corners, especially with these tires where you have to brake at the limit, and then open the throttle immediately. We're missing something in entering and this penalizes us in mid-corner and in exiting. We have to improve."
Could the new rear tire penalize Honda?
“It certainly doesn't help us. It should have more grip, but I don't feel it at the moment. It depends a lot from bike to bike. To make these new tires work at their best, you need to have more speed when cornering, and we need to improve on this."
Do you think that the forces at stake in the championship have changed a bit this year?
"Yes, Yamaha and Ducati came out mid-season last year, they're now closer to us."
Is the exasperation in technology on the field in the MotoGP making these bikes less fun to ride?
“It really depends on the bike you have available. If you have a motorcycle that improves over the years but is stil rideable, you can have fun. If you are on a bike that physically tests you every single time you get on it, then it could be more complex."
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera