Crutchlow once again demonstrated his expert skill at learning new tracks fast to finish seventh fastest on the combined timesheets, the British rider producing another impressive performance on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team YZR-M1 machine on a circuit he’s never ridden at before in his career.
He set a best time of 1.44.797 to finish less than 0.2s away from the top five, the 25-year-old setting a competitive pace on a dry and damp track as the first day of action was disrupted by rain showers.
The fifth round of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship ended in premature and painful fashion for team-mate Edwards though after he was diagnosed with a broken right collarbone following a heavy crash in this afternoon’s second free practice session.
The track dried rapidly and with just over 15 minutes remaining, the field switched to slick tyres as lap times significantly improved with the better conditions. Edwards had completed one run on slick rubber when he switched bikes and was an out lap when he crashed at Turn 5. He landed heavily and was immediately attended to by trackside marshals before being transferred to the Medical Centre, where further checks revealed he’d suffered a broken right collarbone.
Edwards was later taken to the Dexeus Institute Hospital in Barcelona where he will undergo surgery performed by Dr Xavier Mir, who has previously treated Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.
Cal Crutchlow 7th: “I really like the track. It seems to suit my riding style and it turned to be a positive first day for me. I used the same set of slick tyres all day and I ran the hard rear tyre, so I’m sure I could have gone quicker if I’d used the softer option. I did a few laps in the wet but it wasn’t really wet conditions and it was a bit of a waste of time. Learning the braking markers is one of the biggest challenges and in the first corner, I was losing 0.4s on the brakes just at that point. I could make up time in other places but you can’t afford to lose that much time in just one corner. I followed Valentino for a little bit and that was nice because you can learn stuff really quickly. He is smooth as silk and it is incredible to be learning off somebody who is my hero, but if I keep improving there is no reason why I can’t have a good qualifying and be fighting for the top ten again in the race. I’m really sad that Colin has got injured. He’s been riding brilliantly all season and everybody at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 wishes him a speedy recovery.”
Source: Team Tech3
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