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Top six for Crutchlow, successful surgery for Edwards

Top six for Crutchlow, successful surgery for Edwards

Cal Crutchlow will start tomorrow's Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya from sixth position on the grid after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider produced another outstanding qualifying performance this afternoon.

The 2009 World Supersport champion was a serious contender for the top six throughout today's session, run in warmer conditions than expected as temperatures peaked at 25 degrees.

Crutchlow spent the majority of the session working to improve the side grip performance with his Bridgestone rear tyre options, the British rider soaring into fourth place on the timesheets when he posted a lap of 1.43.501 with just over 15 minutes left on the clock.

As the pace hotted up in the final few minutes, Crutchlow slipped down the rankings to sixth position. He kept his cool though and showed how quickly he's mastered the technical Montmelo circuit by producing a stunning final lap of 1.43.202 to claim his second successive start from the second row of the grid. He finished just over 0.4s away from reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who qualified his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 machine in third spot on the front row for tomorrow's 25-lap race.

Colin Edwards has already commenced his recovery from the broken right collarbone he suffered in a crash during the second free practice yesterday afternoon.  The popular American underwent a successful operation on the damaged collarbone at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus of Barcelona this morming.  The procedure was carried out by specialist surgeons Dr Xavier Mir, Head of the Hand Surgery Unit of the Orthopaedics Department of the USP Institut Un iversitari Dexeus, and Dr Victor Marlet. A plate and seven screws were inserted to stabilize the injury.

Edwards will remain under observation in hospital for the next 24 to 48 hours, but the 37-year-old is already in good spirits and planning a return to his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team at the earliest opportunity. The collarbone injury ends the Texan's proud record of starting 141 consecutive races since his MotoGP debut back in 2003.

Cal Crutchlow 6th – 1.43.202 – 22 laps:
“I'm happy enough to be on the second row of the grid again because this is another track I've come to with zero experience and I've shown my raw speed and proved a few people wrong. Ben (Spies) was fifth here last year and I was trying to get that one place higher up to equal it, but I can't be disappointed with sixth on the grid. All cred it to the Team because they have done a fantastic job again. We've still got some work to do to improve the side grip but I'm confident we can make the set-up better for the race. As soon as I open the throttle I'm struggling for grip, so if we can improve in that area we should be on course for a strong result. As I get faster and faster I have to keep changing my riding style but I think I can have an interesting race if I can get away from the start. It's a long run down to the first corner here so I need a good start to avoid getting bunched up at the beginning. It's a shame Colin is not here because I can learn lot from him on the data that helps me out a lot, particularly with lines. I heard he sent the Team a text saying he wanted to see me 'kick some ass', so hopefully I can do that for him tomorrow.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager: :
“Colin had his operation this morning in Barcelona and I am pleased to report that it was a routine procedure and everything went very well. Although he was in quite a lot of pain yesterday, the only positive is that the injury was a clean break without any complications, so we are confident the recovery will be a quick process and we will see Colin back on track very soon. We are still obviously very sorry for what happened to Colin but he is already back to being the Colin we know and love, laughing and joking with staff at the hospital, so we hope to see him back in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 family very soon. Cal though is certainly doing his best to put the smile back on our faces. His performances on tracks he's never seen before have been remarkable, and today he showed again he is a top level MotoGP rider. He looks more like a seasoned campaigner than a rookie and to qualify in the top six again against this competition is a fantastic achievement. We are looking forward to the race with a lot of confidence now and hopefully he can do Colin and the Team proud.”

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech 3

MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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