Crutchlow fastest as Barbera shines in Spain

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Cal Crutchlow went quickest as the Q2 running order was established in the third practice session for the Gran Premio bwin de España. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider recovered from a brake issue as CRT runner Hector Barbera delivered an impressive performance to finish seventh for Avintia Blusens.

The Saturday morning session is the third of four practice periods over the race weekend, but the final one in which riders will be classified for Qualifying. The top ten from across the opening three practice sessions are automatically submitted to Q2 and will start no lower than 12th on the grid, whereas two more members of the Qualifying top 12 will have been promoted from Q1.

The first rider to duck inside the 1’39.000 barrier this weekend, Crutchlow confidently recovered from an issue with his left-front brake caliper to post 1’38.975. That saw off Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa by just 19 thousandths of a second, but yesterday’s best time had already been beaten on only today’s second flying laps amid somewhat cloudy and slightly cooler conditions.

Yamaha Factory Racing were third and fourth, as Jorge Lorenzo - on his 26th birthday and with the final corner having been named after him - leading Valentino Rossi as Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso completed the top five.

Honda’s Marc Marquez was sixth as the championship leader, but it was a highly impressive performance by Avintia Blusens CRT rider Hector Barbera to go seventh and only a tenth behind Marquez. The top ten was rounded out by Ducati’s Nicky Hayden, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone - who stopped with a problem in the closing stages – and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.

Caught out by the pace of Barbera and unable to move into the top ten, any last chance Stefan Bradl had was wiped out by traffic and an unforced error on his final flying lap. Should he finish third or lower in Q1 later today, the LCR Honda MotoGP rider will start Sunday’s race from 13th on the grid at best. Also contesting for a Q2 place are likely to be Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who suffered a low-speed fall at the final corner from which he recovered immediately.

In the pit lane, Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham confirmed that he will not be competing for the rest of the weekend due to the pain with his broken right collarbone. Also on the sidelines this weekend is Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies, who was advised by doctors to rest due to a problem with a pectoral muscle.

Following the fourth Free Practice session, Qualifying for the 2013 Gran Premio bwin de España starts at 2:10pm local time (GMT +2).

TAGS Spain

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