MotoGP: Crutchlow ‘It’s been a very difficult day’

Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow had mixed feelings after today’s qualifying session for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.

Cal Crutchlow secures second row start at Jerez

Photo: Yamaha Tech3

The British rider crashed twice within an hour this afternoon, firstly in FP4 Crutchlow crashed uninjured at Turn 5 and then during the frantic Q2 session to decide the grid for the premier class race, in which Crutchlow was on a front row lap, he lost the front on the entry to the newly named Lorenzo turn which sent him tumbling through the gravel.

After his stunning start to the 2013 campaign the Brit was determined to put a time in that would give him his ninth MotoGP front row start and bravely headed back to the garage for one last try. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and Crutchlow had to settle for fourth place on the grid on the outside of row 2 with a time of 1:39.262s, just 0.291s shy of third place Marquez.

Immediately after the qualifying session Crutchlow visited the Clinica Mobile for work on some lower back pain caused by the second crash and was declared fit to race immediately after.

Team mate Bradley Smith put in a superb display to progress from Q1 and will start the race from 12th place on the grid after a spirited effort in Q2 and will look to add to his points scoring finish last timeout at COTA.

A slightly sore Crutchlow said “It has been a very difficult day for obvious reasons. The two crashes were very big but the second one was particularly hard because it was very fast. The first crash the temperature was quite a lot different from the morning and I just got caught out and it was my own mistake. In the second crash some people felt there was something on the track but I don’t think that was the case to be honest. I made a mistake in the braking and rather than going straight the front brake level locked into my hand. But this was a really big crash and I’m proud that I got back to the garage and went back out to try and go faster. It seems in the warmer conditions it is quite difficult but I am not the only one feeling this. I’m looking forward to the race and we will make some changes with the bike to try and improve the front feeling in the hot conditions. It seems everybody is struggling and it is not like me to have two crashes in one day. I’m a bit battered and bruised but it won’t stop me from giving it 100% in tomorrow’s race.”

Smith said “It was a great job to get into QP2 again today because I really had to fight to make that happen. My race pace is quite good and I am confident but it is going to be a very long and difficult race in the heat. I need to be confident when the tyres drop because it looks like the grip drops down a lot after only three laps and tyre management will be vital. I have made slow progress again all weekend and once again I am working on the same things I’ve been trying so far since I first rode the YZR-M1 machine. It is my riding style and how I am riding the bike where I need to work on but tomorrow is another learning day. I need to get a good start and see if I can follow some of those in the top 10 to get as much as experience as I can.”

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