Cal Crutchlow says his performance in Thursday Practice at Assen has given him a welcome confidence boost as he prepares to ride through the pain this weekend. The Briton was second fastest today despite the broken ankle sustained at Silverstone still causing him discomfort. Crutchlow is feeling positive ahead of Friday's qualifying session but is keeping his expectations under control.
“I am happy to be second quickest considering my physical condition is certainly still not the best after the crash at Silverstone. This morning was a bit of a shock to be honest because although I have been able to do a bit of cycling at home on the Isle of Man as part of the recovery, it definitely wasn’t easy. There was quite a bit of pain with the ankle this morning and it took me longer than normal to get into a rhythm. But overall I am really pleased to be second because I am still quite sore. I am sure it is going to get better the more time I spend on the bike but I had arm pump this morning too because I was compensating for the ankle. But this afternoon it wasn’t an issue at all. I tried the hard and soft rear tyres and felt good on both so we have done a good job as always. The target for this weekend was to try and be inside the top six throughout and I’ve done that today. My ideal time was actually fastest so that is a really big positive and gives me a good boost to take into tomorrow.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso was down in eighth position but wasn't concerned given the small time gap between himself and pacesetter Ben Spies. The Italian felt some of the riders ahead were concentrating more towards qualifying and is comfortable with his race pace.
“The characteristics of this track mean the lap times look very close but if you look at the tyres some were using then it is easier to understand who is really fast for race pace. Obviously I would have liked to be higher up than eighth but I am not unhappy with my race pace. I am quite fast but I can improve the setting of the bike, particularly the front-end. I don’t have the stability like normal and that means I don’t have a comfortable feeling entering the corner and I can’t be as aggressive as I’d like. But I am only 0.3s away from the fastest pace, so it is not such a big gap to close to the front and I am confident I will be higher up the order tomorrow.”