4 months ago
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Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) is one of three riders to have attacked the demanding Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto less than a week after suffering an injury at the Spanish GP. The Brit, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) have all been nothing short of miraculous at the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia.
For Crutchlow, surgery on a fractured scaphoid on Tuesday in Barcelona put his weekend in doubt, but he's quietly got his head down in Jerez as he aims to pick up some valuable Championship points before having a welcomed weekend off. However, in Q1, Crutchlow proved just how tough MotoGP™ riders are by setting a 1:37.644. This time was just 0.132 slower than Franco Morbidelli’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) effort that saw the Italian progress to Q2, and it was just two tenths shy of his Q2 lap at the Spanish GP that would have seen the number 35 line-up 6th.
Four days after surgery, Crutchlow finished ahead of Spanish GP podium finisher Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in Q1 to place himself P13 on Sunday’s grid, with the likes of Johann Zarco (Hublot Reale Avintia) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) sitting behind the HRC man on the grid.
“Obviously it’s great to be back this weekend. LCR and Honda have done a good job of giving me and Marc no pressure to ride this weekend and we can just sort of get with out job a little bit,” said Crutchlow, after Q1. “. I don’t feel great with the bike, I don’t feel comfortable. It’s probably me riding the bike more than anything, struggling with the feeling of the handlebars.
“I’ve got strength in the handlebars and the brake but I don’t feel like I have great control in the corner, I don’t have control of the slide or things like that, so we’re working through it, we’re doing a good job I feel, I tried to go for it in that Q1 to get into Q2, I had a good marker with Oliveira in front of me but that’s what I needed.
“I’m not normally one to follow anyone but I just needed that see where I needed to gain a little bit. It’s not a bad lap time; a couple of tenths off what I did here last week for 6th place, with a wrist surgery, three days in-between, being knocked out with anaesthetic. I didn’t feel well yesterday, after the session I felt a bit sick, I think from the anaesthetic and all over the week. Today I don’t feel too much better but we’ll see how I am tomorrow.”
All the Grand Prix riders perform heroics every race weekend, but it’s something extraordinary when riders push through the pain barrier to go nearly as quick as they were going before the injury. Now, Crutchlow will try and finish as high as possible in the gruelling 25-lap slog that face the premier class on Sunday afternoon.
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