LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow rode through the pain barrier to claim a place on the second row for Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix at the Automotodrom Brno. The Briton qualified in fifth position, a performance that was all the more remarkable considering he sustained a serious back injury after an unfortunate fall in the morning free practice session.
Crutchlow went sixth fastest in FP3, but also endured a nasty crash into the trackside air-fence after skidding on fluid that had come from Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati. The LCR man had an initial X-ray at the circuit that proved inconclusive and opted to continue riding, going on to also finish sixth in FP4.
He would go one better in final qualifying as, along with HRC factory riders Marc Marquez (pole position) and Dani Pedrosa (third), he ensured that Honda filled three of the top five spots on the grid. Crutchlow headed straight for hospital after qualifying to get a definitive verdict on his vertebrae injury and was given good news as a scan revealed no fracture, meaning he will be able to line up in Sunday’s race.
Cal Crutchlow – 5th
(1’55.489 – lap 6 of 7)
“I had to qualify, I didn’t feel anything too bad when I was riding. Of course, I had some pain from this morning’s crash, but as we know it was an unfortunate situation as myself and Marc (Marquez) were the next two along when there was something on the track and that meant I crashed at more than 150 kilometres an hour. I’m sorry for the team as Marc’s bike had two scratches on it and ours barely had two wheels left on it after the crash! I feel good, in fact I’ve felt great all weekend so far. Yesterday we had some problems with the set up, but I felt we just needed to work in a different area and today I thought we did a really good job.”
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