Cal Crutchlow bounces back to claim stunning front row in Germany
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow showed tremendous mental and physical resilience today to secure a stunning place on the front row of the grid for the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
Battered and bruised after two high-speed crashes in practice yesterday, the British rider demonstrated his phenomenal fighting spirit to claim second position in this afternoon’s qualifying session at the tight and twisty Sachsenring.
The 27-year-old is nursing numerous cuts, bruises and friction burns after a physically punishing start to the eighth round of the 2013 World Championship campaign.
Far from being in peak physical shape today, Crutchlow managed to brush off the aches and pains to this morning to finish sixth overall in practice. With his confidence and feeling on Yamaha’s YZR-M1 restored in advance of the 15-minute qualifying session, Crutchlow put up another terrific fight for pole position.
He led the session with a 1.21.640 and a brilliant late burst of speed saw him improve his pace to a 1.21.434. That put him only 0.123s behind Marc Marquez, who denied Crutchlow a second successive premier class pole position.
Crutchlow certainly won’t be back to 100% fitness in time for tomorrow’s 30-lap race but his pace throughout a difficult weekend means he is optimistic he can mount a serious challenge for a fourth podium of the season.
Bradley Smith enjoyed another positive and productive day and he managed to improve his pace by almost 0.5s in the decisive qualifying session.
A best lap of 1.22.758 secured him a top 10 finish in practice and in full time attack mode in qualifying he was able to drop his pace down to a 1.22.297 that secured him seventh position on the grid.
Smith was just over 0.9s off pole position and a second successive start from inside the top six only eluded the 22-year-old by 0.140s. Smith’s main objective in tomorrow’s race will be a fast start, with the tight and twisty Sachsenring track hard to overtake on as the British rider goes in search of a sixth straight top six finish in his impressive rookie MotoGP season.
Cal Crutchlow 2nd – 1.21.434 – 10 laps:
“I am really pleased to be back on the front row after all the drama of yesterday. They were two really big crashes in practice and my body took a bit of beating to be honest. The first crash was completely my fault because I made a mistake on the brakes but the second was because the front tyre was cold. It was definitely my worst day of the season, so to put all that behind me and get a front row when I am not close to my physical best is a great achievement. When I woke up this morning I didn’t feel that great because my body took a big impact in a few places. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to ride and just to be out there is great. It is going to be a very difficult race in my condition but I will be giving it my all to get another podium. Today was a great result for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. I gave them plenty of work to do yesterday but they did a great job and as always I am grateful for their efforts.”
Bradley Smith 7th 1.22.297 – 10 laps:
“Seventh position is a great result and to do a 1.22.2 was a bit of surprise. We still need to work a bit more on my confidence and understand the Bridgestone tyres a bit better. They work really well at this track and it is a case of understanding how much you can push them. For the race tomorrow the start will be so important. The track is so tight and twisty that the first three laps will be vital to achieving a good result. Hopefully we can improve the bike but I feel for the full race distance we are in a good position and I am happy with the set-up. I just need to make sure we can put in a consistent pace because it will be a very long race.”
Source: Tech3 Communications