Crutchlow setting sights on maiden podium
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso will start tomorrow’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM confident they can battle for a podium after impressive qualifying performances in scorching hot conditions at the Mugello track today.
Crutchlow will start the 23-lap race from inside the top six for the eighth time in nine races in 2012 after he bounced back brilliantly from a late crash to set a best time of 1.47.749.
The British rider had shown hi s superb speed earlier in the session when he powered his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine into the top two. Confident he could significantly improve on his 1.48.107 he was pushing hard on Bridgestone’s soft compound rear tyre when he crashed unhurt at Turn 12 with just over 12 minutes left on the clock.
The 26-year-old dashed back to the pits and proving the tumble hadn’t knocked him out of his fast and consistent rhythm, Crutchlow produced a superb last lap of 1.47.749 to secure sixth place on the grid. He was just over 0.2s away from the top three and is confident he will be battling for a maiden podium.
Cal Crutchlow 6th 1.47.749 – 22 laps:
“I’m a little bit disappointed because I made a silly mistake pushing too hard too soon on a brand new front tyre. Maybe it hadn’t reached optimum working temperature but it was a stupid mistake and it cost me at least the front row. I’m confident I could have battled for pole but I only had one new front tyre for qualifying and I crashed on it immediately. The small technical problem yesterday meant I couldn’t get the bike back to the pits, so I had go out on the spare machine on completely new rubber. After the crash today all I had was an old front tyre and I did my fastest lap with 27-laps on it. I just couldn’t push at all on the front and it definitely cost me the front row. I used the new rear tyre as best as I could but I’m sure I could have fought for pole. I’m looking forward to the race and will be aiming for the top five. Looking at Lorenzo’s pace it will be hard to fight with him but I’m definitely looking at scor ing some good points for the Championship.”
Source: Team Tech3 Press Release