Britain’s Cal Crutchlow continues to impress in his third MotoGP season as he tops the final timed practice session at Jerez to lead the pack into qualifying at the third round at Jerez as big names such as Stefan Bradl
|Crutchlow topped the session from Pedrosa
Photo: Tech 3 Racing
and Bradley Smith are knocked out of the top 10 and will have to fight in that first qualifying session for their place in Q2.
Cooler temperatures than yesterday meant almost everybody was out using the softer option rear tyre leading to faster times than yesterday, Cal Crutchlow set the fastest lap of the weekend early on in the session to take top spot for a second before Lorenzo’s second flying lap displaced the Tech 3 rider.
With two CRTs in the top ten after yesterdays sessions; Hector Barbera and Aleix Espargaro there were big efforts from the likes of Stefan Bradl who crashed yesterday and Ducati trio of Dovizioso, Hayden and Iannone.
Crutchlow took charge of the session as the first man into the 1’38 lap times with ten minutes to go and remained at the top for the rest of the session posting consistently low 1’39 laps, he bettered his fastest lap once but came close on many more occasions. It seemed everyone was preferring the milder conditions with the exception of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez – who hadn’t improved on their Friday times at the half way point, around a second behind Crutchlow.
Marquez managed to improve with 20 minutes to go, only placing himself ahead of Valentino Rossi – still half a second off Crutchlow’s best time. Some beautiful scenes of fluorescent-yellow formation flying were seen as Andrea Iannone decided he would take a tow from his good friend Valentino Rossi – actually jumping ahead of him on the timing sheets to 5th. Rossi finally improved on his Friday time with 8 minutes to go however a sneaky Spaniard in the form of Hector Barbera stole a tow to put himself into the top ten, not being enough he continues to follow Rossi who improves up to 4th place – towing Barbera’s FTR Kawasaki to 6th.
The only man to join Crutchlow under the 1’39 barrier was Dani Pedrosa, who finished second from Jorge Lorenzo who despite coming close, did not dip into the 1’38 second lap times. More and times below.
With a few minutes left of the session, seemingly miffed at being outpaced by satellite team mate Iannone all weekend Andrea Dovizioso picked his game up and posted the 5th fastest time ahead of last round’s winner Marc Marquez, who seems to be struggling to control the powerful RC213V at the Spanish track. A last minute attempt by Alvaro Bautista to get into the top ten was successful, knocking factory-backed Honda counterpart Stefan Bradl out of the top ten and into that first qualifying session this afternoon.
The only faller of the session was Aleix Espargaro who had a low-speed tumble early in the session, although Iannone parked his bike up with 2 minutes on the clock after running out of fuel or suffering a mechanical fault. Karel Abraham did not post a time in the session after deciding not to continue with the weekend after breaking his collarbone at a crash in Austin qualifying.
1 35 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 C.CRUTCHLOW GBR YAMAHA 1’38.975
2 26 Repsol Honda Team D.PEDROSA SPA HONDA 1’38.994
3 99 Yamaha Factory Racing J.LORENZO SPA YAMAHA 1’39.078
4 46 Yamaha Factory Racing V.ROSSI ITA YAMAHA 1’39.105
5 4 Ducati Team A.DOVIZIOSO ITA DUCATI 1’39.494
6 93 Repsol Honda Team M.MARQUEZ SPA HONDA 1’39.500
7 8 Avintia Blusens H.BARBERA SPA FTR 1’39.615
8 69 Ducati Team N.HAYDEN USA DUCATI 1’39.620
9 29 Energy T.I. Pramac Racing A.IANNONE ITA DUCATI 1’39.687
10 19 GO&FUN Honda Gresini A.BAUTISTA SPA HONDA 1’39.770
11 6 LCR Honda MotoGP S.BRADL GER HONDA 1’39.833
12 41 Power Electronics Aspar A.ESPARGARO SPA ART 1’39.888
13 38 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 B.SMITH GBR YAMAHA 1’39.984
14 51 Ducati Test Team M.PIRRO ITA DUCATI 1’40.035
15 9 Came IodaRacing Project D.PETRUCCI ITA IODA-SUTER 1’40.409
16 14 Power Electronics Aspar R.DE PUNIET FRA ART 1’40.554
17 7 Avintia Blusens H.AOYAMA JPN FTR 1’41.104
18 52 Came IodaRacing Project L.PESEK CZE IODA-SUTER 1’41.196
19 67 GO&FUN Honda Gresini B.STARING AUS FTR HONDA 1’41.518
20 68 Paul Bird Motorsport Y.HERNANDEZ COL ART 1’41.707
21 5 NGM Mobile Forward Racing C.EDWARDS USA FTR KAWASAKI 1’41.715
22 71 NGM Mobile Forward Racing C.CORTI ITA FTR KAWASAKI 1’41.790
23 70 Paul Bird Motorsport M.LAVERTY
GBR PBM 1’42.013
24 17 Cardion AB Motoracing K.ABRAHAM CZE ART 1’43.334