Cal Crutchlow revealed he had been suffering from illness on Saturday, keeping him back in 12th in qualifying at Motegi.
The Briton was hopeful of a place on the third row after Friday practice but woke up with a cold on Saturday. Crutchlow also suffered from dehydration despite regularly taking on water and felt that a place on the fourth row was as good as he could've hoped for under the circumstances.
“I’m a bit disappointed to be back in 12th when you look how close I am to the third row. But I can’t be too upset because I feel well below my physical best today. All last night I was coughing and sneezing and I’ve been drinking about eight litres of water today and I still feel dehydrated. My throat feels like I’ve swallowed gravel but I still managed to go out there and lap faster than last year’s pole time. I can’t really ask for much more than that on a circuit I’ve never even seen before in my life”
“I might have been a bit further up the grid but on my last soft tyre I nearly high-sided coming out of the first corner. It was a big moment because I struggled to get heat into the tyre out of the pits. I still got in one more lap on that final tyre and managed to set my best time, so now I’m looking forward to the race and hoping I can have another good battle like I did at the Motorland Aragon. That was a lot of fun but also helped me learn a lot, so I’ll be looking to be in a fight for the top 10.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Colin Edwards will start two places further back in 14th after a session punctuated by a crash. The American was unhurt but admitted it didn't help him when the session came towards its' conclusion.
“I had high hopes coming to Japan because last year I got my best grid position and my best result of the Championship at the Twin Ring Motegi. But it just hasn’t worked out at all so far this weekend and I’m just not quick enough. I’m faster than I qualified last year but still nine places further back down the grid, so that shows how much the competition has stepped up this season. The early crash didn’t help the session run smoothly and I haven’t made a mistake as bad as that in a long time. I just completely missed my braking marker and that was all because I was pushing too hard to get more out of the bike.”
Edwards revealed he was happy with the set-up of his bike and feels his poor grid position is simply down to the Motegi track not suiting the Yamaha.
“Looking at the lap times it is obvious that our bike doesn’t turn or accelerate as good as the rest and that means you have to ride on the ragged edge a lot. The strange part is that the bike feels fine. It is not doing anything crazy but I can’t get it to go round the track any faster. The target will be to fight for the top 10 tomorrow, but a repeat of fifth like last year unfortunately doesn’t look like it’s a realistic aim.”