MotoGP championship leader Cal Crutchlow has blamed a bad rear tyre for his performance in yesterday’s MotoGP qualifying at Austin where he ended up in seventh place, eight-tenths off then poleman Marc Marquez before he was docked three grid places.
Crutchlow had been fighting for a top three spot in the first run but his second stint in the short Q2 session saw him unable to take the fight to Marquez, Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone. But he managed to set his fastest lap of the session on the tyre in question...
“You’re hearing it more and more these days, ‘we’ve got a bad tyre’ – and we do, it’s a lottery. But if you pick a bad one for the race, you’re in the shitt. That’s just the way it is,” said Crutchlow, speaking at the track.
“I have to accept it because I’m sure at other points in the season there will be other guys who will have bad tyres in qualifying.
“I’m not happy, seventh is very disappointing. Disappointing is probably an understatement today, because it wasn’t our fault.
“I had great pace in the first run, and the second one I didn’t have the feeling with the rear tyre. And you can always ride around the feeling with the rear tyre unless you have a major problem with it – and I had a problem with it.
“So in the end, I don’t know what the problem was, but I was unable to go around some corners, and suddenly at the end of the lap I was hardly able to go around the last four corners of the track.
“So, yeah, I’m disappointed, but we know it’s not our fault in our team, we know it’s not the manufacturer’s fault, I know it’s not my fault.”
Michelin staff have said they are looking into the claims and the tyre is being assessed.