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7 days ago
By motogp.com

Crutchlow: “I didn't get a clean lap in qualifying"

P5 in qualifying for the Brit who starts alongside Independent Team rivals Petrucci and Zarco

The Red Bull Ring is a circuit Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) hasn’t gone well at in the past, however the British rider qualified fifth on an all-Independent Team second row at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, behind Danio Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) as the trio battle for top Independent Team honours in this year’s Championship.

Historically, this is a track where Crutchlow might expect to lose ground on the two who sit just above him in the overall standings after finishing P15 in 2016 and 2017. However, fifth on the grid and quicker than last year shows signs that the Austrian GP might not be all doom and gloom for the British rider this season.

“Yeah considering we were faster than last year, that’s a positive of course,” said Crutchlow, who went two tenths quicker than he did in Q2 last year, despite not getting a clean lap under his belt in qualifying. “I made a really unclean lap in qualifying, I didn’t get a clean lap at all for the qualifying. I made a mistake down into Turn 4, my first fast lap, then I didn’t realise Marc was there. Then on my other fast lap I made a couple of mistakes, we probably could have been faster, but I tried my best and fifth it was. I’m not sure I could have been on the front row anyway, I think I probably would have been fourth not fifth, so we have to be happy with our job today.”  

And the tyres? “We can race all three options” says the number 35: “It seems we can run any rear tyre because Marc ran the soft the whole session, he was fast with that, I ran the medium and was not so bad, and then I ran the hard at the end and was not so bad again. I think we can race all three options of the tyre, which makes it a disaster to be honest for the tyre selection and for the riders deciding what they want to do, and how they’ll play their tricks. But I have some idea that we’ll be racing the hard-rear tomorrow.”

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Austrian GP: MotoGP™ Q2

Seven points split Crutchlow, Petrucci and Zarco in the Championship, but who will take top Independent Team Honours at the Red Bull Ring in 2018?

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