Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith experienced a difficult start to preparations for Sunday’s Misano MotoGP round today.

In warm and sunny conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the British pairing found both 45-minute free practice sessions a tough challenge while they worked hard to find confidence with their YZR-M1 machinery.

A right arm injury the 27-year-old suffered in the first of three heavy crashes during his recent home race at Silverstone has still not completely healed and Crutchlow was uncharacteristically outside of the top 10 in FP1 this morning.

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Crutchlow was able to make significant progress this afternoon by lapping over 0.7s faster and a personal best time of 1.35.208 moved him one place higher up the rankings into 10th position and just 0.4s away from the top six.

Rookie Smith’s first taste of the San Marino track on a MotoGP machine didn’t go according to plan after the 22-year-old ended the opening day proceedings in 14th position on the combined timesheets.

Building up his confidence and speed in FP2, Smith had just set his best time of the day with a 1.36.004 when he fell unhurt at the first corner at the beginning of his 11th lap.

Despite a difficult start to the 13th round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship, Crutchlow and Smith remain optimistic they can be more competitive for the remainder of the weekend

Cal Crutchlow (Position 10th - Time 1.35.208): “Today was a really difficult day and I am not very happy at all with my pace or my position. My right arm is not 100% after Silverstone but the main problem is I don’t have any feeling with the bike at all. We need to improve because all I can say is that today was bad and disappointing.

Those in front of me can just run a much better pace and there is not one single area that is holding me back. I am struggling everywhere but I won’t give up and I will work hard with my crew tonight to try and find some solutions to be more competitive tomorrow.”

Bradley Smith (Position 14th - Time 1.36.004): “Unfortunately today wasn’t very positive. Misano is a track I like, so to have a result like today is not nice, but it is clear with the final position there is a bigger problem than just the setting. The bad feeling I had in Silverstone is the same here. The good thing is we understand what the issues are now and we know which direction we have to go in.

It is frustrating to have the crash but I am pushing to try and get the same feeling back that I had in Brno where I was strong. I believe with all the info we have that we can take a big step forward tomorrow and be faster. Qualifying is very important here with the first section so tight and the run to the first corner quite short, so it is vital to give yourself the best chance to get away with the leading group.”

Yamaha Racing