Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow were both delighted with major improvements made during the third and final MotoGP practice session at the Losail International Circuit tonight. In blustery and unpredictable conditions that continued to hit the 5.38km Doha venue, Edwards and Crutchlow made huge progress with their race set-up tonight, both improving their pace and consistency with the hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre.
Crutchlow was thrilled with his performance tonight, the British rider claiming a morale-boosting eighth place on the timesheets in the opening session of the evening. He finished with a best time of 1.56.437 having knocked off almost a second off his best lap from yesterday. He ended the final session less than 0.2s away from the top six and his time put him 12th overall on combined times as he produced another heroic display. The left little finger injury he suffered earlier this week in a testing crash is still causing him considerable pain and discomfort, while he was also struggling with strength in his left shoulder that is recovering from major winter surgery to repair tendon and ligament damage.
Tonight’s performance has boosted Crutchlow’s confidence that he can fight for a top ten grid position when he takes part in his first MotoGP qualifying session tomorrow night ahead of Sunday’s 22-laps.
Cal Crutchlow 11th 1.56.437 – 18 laps:
“To be as close as I was to the top six, I can’t really ask for too much more. I wasn’t following anybody either and I was doing the times on my own, so that gives me a lot of confidence too. I’m much happier on the harder tyre now. I was consistently in the 56s and that’s a big step forward on last night and I don’t really think the final position does us justice. Considering how sore my finger is and my shoulder is starting to hurt a bit now as well, I can’t complain. I actually think I could have gone quicker but when I put in a soft rear tyre at the end, the front tyre had got a few laps on it and it was moving around when I was pushing. But I feel a lot more comfortable on the bike and we’ve got a few ideas for tomorrow night, so I can improve a bit more.”
Source: Team Tech3
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