Cal Crutchlow believes Tech 3 needs to shelve Yamaha’s latest upgrades after his struggles in recent MotoGP races.
The Briton had been frustrated by a lack of new components being passed down to his squad earlier in the season, but he suspects recent new parts — among them a factory-spec fuel tank and seat — have contributed to his set-up issues in the last few rounds.
He also believes Honda is now clearly ahead of both Yamaha squads, having seen his factory counterpart Jorge Lorenzo beaten by both Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa again in the Czech Republic on Sunday.
“It’s been a difficult few races – we’re still always in contention, but we’re just not there like we were at the start of the year and the only thing that has changed is the bike,” Crutchlow said. “I believe we need to change back.
“I think the Honda was [also] superior in acceleration compared to the Yamaha, that showed with Pedrosa and Marquez against Lorenzo.”
Crutchlow had boosted hopes of a first British premier class win in 22 years when he claimed pole with a record lap around the Brno circuit, but he struggled to carry such form into the race. He lost out to factory riders Lorenzo, Marquez and Pedrosa at the start, was delayed by a battle with Alvaro Bautista and then fell while trying to recover a three-second deficit to the leading trio.
“CRASH TOTALLY MY FAULT”
Crutchlow says the crash was entirely of his own making, admitting he was simply pushing too hard to recover his lost ground.
“I had to push to catch the other guys – I’d lost a bit of time to them,” he said. “Alvaro came past and slowed us for a lap, so I had to push again. But it [the crash] was completely my own fault. I tried my hardest, but unfortunately we just lost grip in one corner.”
Crutchlow said he had been struggling with front-end grip all weekend, without discovering a solution.
“It’s clear we were struggling all weekend with the front of the bike,” he explained. “We’ve been trying to put some more load on the front all weekend but it wasn’t working.”