Cal Crutchlow believes the viewers will be in for a thrilling fight for pole position tomorrow under the new qualifying format in MotoGP. The Briton automatically qualified for the fifteen minutes pole position shootout after going third fastest in practice and hopes to be in the thick of the action when the front row spots are decided.
“The track was not in a good condition again tonight and it was very dirty but I am still happy with my performance and it is good to remain inside the top three. I was confident I’d be in the top 10 to move straight into QP2 and I am looking forward to the 15-minute session to decide places on the grid tomorrow night. I think it will be exciting for the fans and also for us because nobody will be hanging around. I felt comfortable on the bike again in the second session because we made a couple of changes earlier that didn’t really work. I still need to improve in the braking zone and I’d like to improve the rear grip too, but I have been fast in every session so far and that bodes well for the race on Sunday night.”
Teammate Bradley Smith also secured a place in QP2 after finishing the night in ninth place and the rookie was delighted with his progress since day one.
“I am really happy because one of my big objectives was to make sure I was inside the top 10 tonight and straight into the second qualifying session. Now I’ve done that I feel like it is a big achievement that I am really proud because it was not easy. I found well over a second in the final session and to finish just over 0.8s away from the top is a fantastic result for me. I didn’t realize just how hard you have to push the bike to get down to that pace and it is going to be very hard to ride at that intensity for the whole race. Credit to the other guys who run a consistently fast pace throughout the race because it is incredibly hard and something I will need to focus on improving. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a great job tonight. They gave me a bike that gave me a lot of confidence and that was proven in just how much faster I was in the final session. I am less than 0.5s away from Valentino so I am really pleased. There’s still a lot of work to do on the race set-up but I am truly happy to be inside that top 10.”