Test and reserve driver Cal Crutchlow flew twice on practice day for the Grand Prix of Thailand.
Both falls happened in the afternoon. At the beginning, the veteran slipped at the end of the long straight in tight turn 3. It was a harmless slip and Crutchlow continued on his RNF Yamaha.
“I used a new 355 millimeter brake disc to test it,” said the Brit, describing his first fall this weekend. “I released the brake, but it still decelerated a little.”
Brembo has developed a new front brake disc with a diameter of 355 millimeters for this season. On circuits like Spielberg, Motegi and Buriram, the teams have the 340mm disc and the new 355mm disc at their disposal.
In Motegi, Crutchlow “wasn’t allowed” to use the largest disc, according to his own statement. He didn’t go into detail about the reason for this in Japan. Known as a hard brakeman, he was upset. Now he was allowed to drive the 355 disc in Buriram – and promptly crashed.
Concerned about Crutchlow’s old ankle injury
Then Crutchlow highsided spectacularly at the end of FT2 on the time attack. The scene was turn 7. The yellow flags cost some other drivers their qualifying attempt. Crutchlow went to the medical center for checks.
“There are no excuses in the afternoon,” says the three-time MotoGP race winner. “I attacked. Unfortunately, with too much gas, I had too much leaning. That’s what happens when you push with a MotoGP bike. It obviously wasn’t an ideal day.”
“I had to have X-rays done on my right ankle, which I fractured badly a few years ago. I’m having quite a lot of pain in the ankle right now. The X-ray is negative, but the pain could also be from the swelling.”
Crutchlow badly injured his right ankle in a fall in Australia 2018. At that time he had to end the season prematurely.
A year later he conquered the last podium of his career at Phillip Island – a very emotional success.
Competitive lap times in practice
The fact that Crutchlow has hit his right ankle again in Buriram initially worried him.
But: “The place is not the same as the old fracture. We have to cool the ankle now. Then we’ll see how it is.”
Crutchlow’s lap times were competitive on Friday. He finished the morning training session in eleventh place.
“I felt really good on the bike today when we attacked for a fast lap in FT1. I made a mistake on that lap.”
“Otherwise I would have ended up in the top 10. I could fight for a good result again this weekend. To be honest, I feel good. My pace is really good,” believes the 35-year-old. Overall, he finished twelfth.
Night will tell how he will feel on Saturday: “Now we’ll have to wait and see how the injury develops. I also have injuries on my elbows, my back and most of my body. We’ll see.”
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