Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow thanked his crew after he made a return to the front row of the grid in Malaysia, finishing third fastest in a dramatic conclusion to qualifying.
Crutchlow calculated where he could push hard to battle for a third pole position throughout a tense and exciting Q2, after rain had fallen just before the session.
A lap of 2’01.801 put Crutchlow on top of the rankings by just 0.006s over Dani Pedrosa shortly after the halfway stage. In a frantic last lap sprint in improving conditions, the 27-year-old improved his pace to 2’00.359 to clinch a spot on the front row of the grid for the seventh time in 2013.
“I am really happy to be back on the front row because it was not an easy session at all,” said the Englishman. “It was hard with a dark visor to see where the track was wet and in some corners it was pretty tricky. It was a bit of a lottery with the damp sections and I think it came down to who was willing to take the most risks right at the end when the track was improving.”
Crutchlow continued, “Today’s result is a great reward for my crew because they have done a brilliant job giving me a very competitive package this weekend. It is going to be a very tough race in the heat and humidity but hopefully I can put up a good fight. It will be hard for the tyres as well because 20-laps is a long race and the tyres have been going off quite quickly.”