MotoGP points leader Cal Crutchlow has shrugged off his poor qualifying at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas and put his third-row starting position down to a “bad tyre”.
LCR Honda’s Crutchlow, who holds a three-point lead coming into the third round of the series after victory in Argentina, said he had heard of similar issues arising around the paddock.
“You're hearing it more and more these days – week in, week out – we will hear ‘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 s**t. That's just the way it is.
“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.”
Crutchlow had been in the top five of every practice session at COTA, but then slumped back to seventh, eight tenths off pole-winner Marc Marquez.
He said he couldn’t explain the Q2 issue he experienced with the rear tyre in detail as it had yet to be discussed with tyre supplier Michelin.
He added: “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.
“We were running well all weekend, I felt competitive all weekend, I also felt good for qualifying to be on the front row – and it wasn’t to be and we have to accept it and get on with [the] job, which is to try to be on the podium.”