Cal Crutchlow is looking forward to challenging for a place on the front row at Brno tomorrow after a strong start to the weekend today. The Briton was fourth fastest and with Casey Stoner out injured, one of the places on the front row and podium expected to be locked out is now up for grabs. Crutchlow believes he can go even quicker than he did today as the track evolves and heads into qualifying full of optimism.

“Today wasn’t a bad start to the weekend because I was fourth in both sessions and very close to Andrea. But we can definitely make some improvements to the bike. This afternoon I struggled quite a lot with the hard tyre and we need to have a look at the data closely to get more of an understanding why. I’ve got good pace on the soft tyre and I’m convinced I can be a bit quicker because I didn’t put in a soft tyre until right at the end of this afternoon’s session. I feel confident for tomorrow and am sure we can challenge for a decent grid position for Sunday.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso had a slight edge on Crutchlow in both sessions and is also encouraged by the potential in his YZR-M1.

“I am really satisfied with the work we have done today. Obviously we arrive here in great shape after the fantastic podium in Indianapolis and immediately I was comfortable with the bike and the big positive is in both sessions I was very close to the front. I was only 0.186s behind Dani this morning and 0.197s behind him this afternoon and it is great to start the weekend being so competitive. In every race I have been on the podium this season I have not started this strongly, so hopefully this is a good indication that we will be very strong in the race on Sunday. The good thing about today is we can start to work immediately on improving the set-up of the bike because unlike in Indianapolis, the Brno track isn’t dirty and there was a lot of grip. I’d like it to be a little easier to make the lap time because it feels I am quite close to the limit on the front. But we have a plan for tomorrow that should help us in that area.”