Confident Crutchlow blasts to front row in Estoril

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed to his second front row start in the opening three rounds of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with another scintillating qualifying performance in Estoril today.

Crutchlow hasn't qualified lower than fourth in 2012 and once again this afternoon he challenged for pole position in the thrilling final stages of a session that was red flagged with 11 minutes remaining following a collision between Randy de Puniet and former Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards.

The short delay in proceedings didn't knock Crutchlow out of his stride and five minutes were left on the clock when he surged to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1.37.289. That time kept Crutchlow at the top of the standings until just over two minutes remained and at the end he was only 0.101s behind Stoner and 0.088s adrift of Pedrosa.

Andrea Dovizioso will start tomorrow's race from the front of the third row of the grid having set the seventh quickest time. The Italian was disappointed with his pace on the soft Bridgestone tyres in the decisive final moments of the session.

Cal Crutchlow 3rd 1.37.289 – 28 laps:

"To be back on the front row again is a really great achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and this is reward again for all of our hard work. I am really happy as well to be the fastest Yamaha because that proves what a good job all of us are doing. I was actually going to scrap my best lap but I made up some time in the last sector and it was good enough for the top three. I'm happy with that but we still have to improve the bike a bit more for the race. I want it to turn a little better and brake a little better."

Andrea Dovizioso 7th 1.37.917 – 29 laps:

"I'm quite angry to have qualified down in seventh today because we could have done much better. It is always tricky when you have to start from the third row of the grid and I hope my starting position is not going to hamper me at the start of the race. Getting a good start will be crucial but I am really satisfied about my pace on the hard tyre. I was third fastest and only 0.2s behind Lorenzo on the hard tyre, so I think my rhythm for the race is going to be very competitive."

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

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