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Crutchlow impresses in front of home fans at Silverstone

Crutchlow impresses in front of home fans at Silverstone

Cal Crutchlow thrilled an expectant home crowd at the AirAsia British Grand Prix today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider mastering unpredictable weather to finish inside the top six in dry and wet conditions.

This morning's session was held in cool but dry conditions and it didn't take long for Crutchlow to settle into a fast and consistent rhythm, the 25-year-old finishing sixth quickest with a best time of 2'05.007.

Crutchlow was confident of making further big improvements this afternoon, but forecast rain showers duly arrived in the earlier 125cc session. The second MotoGP session got underway on a wet track, but with some sections drying quickly, Crutchlow was presented with unpredictable riding conditions.

Despite minimal experience of riding his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 in the wet, Crutchlow displayed all his skills and versatility to produce an outstanding performance on his way to setting the fourth quickest time. He ended with a best time of 2'18.109 and was only behind Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli and Nicky Hayden at the end of the session.

Colin Edwards understandably adopted a cautious approach to proceedings today, the American riding just a week after he broke his right collarbone in a practice crash for the Catalunya round.

This morning's session was a physically demanding exercise for the 37-year-old and he rode at a steady pace to gauge the strength in his right shoulder and build up his confidence again after last week's heavy crash at the Montmelo circuit.

Edwards welcomed the arrival of the rai n more than anyone else, with wet conditions easing the physical demands of tackling the super fast and technical Silverstone track. He finished 16th in both sessions but is confident in wet or dry conditions that he can fight for a points scoring finish in Sunday's race, which is the sixth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.

Cal Crutchlow:
“I wasn't too happy with this morning even though I was in the top six. I had some stability issues with the bike and without that I felt I could have been in the top four this morning as well. We had a few issues to solve and it would have been good to have a dry session this afternoon to work on improving the bike. At least we got an opportunity to do some laps in the wet, so we'll have some experience of the track in those conditions if we get rain on Sunday. I'd like it to be a dry race so I can show what I can do, but I feel we're competitive in the wet as well. The conditions this afternoon were unbelievable. It was soaking wet in parts but in other parts, how quickly it dried out was incredible. One corner would be wet and then the next dry, so it was a case of understanding when and where you could push to gain time. The Bridgestone rain tyres held up brilliantly on the drier parts but going from dry to wet conditions is not easy because there is so much heat being generated in the tyres, it is easy to make a mistake. The support from the British crowd has been fantastic so far and I've been making solid progress, so I want to aim for the front row tomorrow.”

Colin Edwards:
“Today was all about getting back on the bike and building up some confidence after last week's crash. I wasn't going to do any thing too crazy but the shoulder definitely hurts a bit. I'm in a bit of pain in the braking zone for right-handers and unfortunately this is a right-handed track. Honestly speaking, though the shoulder feels better than I thought it would, in the dry and the wet I was just riding really timid, particularly this afternoon on the wet track. The conditions were just about the worst imaginable because one corner would be dry and the next wet. Some parts were drying really quick while others it was still soaking wet. I had nothing to prove but at least with that wet session we've got a feel for the track if it rains on Sunday. Right now, I certainly won't be upset if the race is wet on Sunday. I'll take a wet race right now because the stress on the shoulder is a lot less than in the dry, but we'll have to wait and see what happens with the weather."

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team press release.

MotoGP, 2011, AIRASIA BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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