Cal Crutchlow demonstrated incredible bravery and skill to power his YZR-M1 machine to third position.
British hero Cal Crutchlow showed amazing speed and resilience in front of his home crowd at Silverstone today to claim a stunning sixth front row start of 2013 after bouncing back from two heavy crashes in practice.
Nursing nasty abrasions to his right arm, Crutchlow had British fans on the edge of their seats again this afternoon when the 27-year-old demonstrated incredible bravery and skill to power his YZR-M1 machine to third position on the grid in a tense 15-minute QP2.
In gloriously sunny but cool conditions, Crutchlow’s best lap of 2.01.425 put him behind dominant Spanish duo Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo for the start of tomorrow’s 20-lap race.
Despite feeling below his peak physical best after the big crashes this morning, Crutchlow remains full of confidence that he can become the first British rider since 2000 to claim a premier class podium on home soil.
Rookie Bradley Smith will also start his first home MotoGP race from inside the top 10 after he was able to set encouraging lap times throughout the weekend that bodes well for a strong challenge in tomorrow’s Silverstone showdown.
Smith advanced comfortably from QP1 with a lap of 2.03.110, which saw him dominate the opening 15-minute qualifying session by close to a second.
In the heat of battle in QP2, the 22-year-old further improved his pace to an impressive 2.02.409, which was only 0.3s away from securing Smith a place on the second row of the grid for the third time this season.
Cal Crutchlow (Position: 3rd - Time: 2.01.447 - Laps: 7): “Well that was just a normal Saturday for me at Silverstone! After what happened in 2011 and 2012, the last thing I needed was a crash, so to have two made it even worse. Both were very fast crashes and I am thankful not to have been injured, though my right arm is covered in abrasions and is quite painful because of the swelling.
The first crash was my fault because the front tyre was too cold. And in the second one, with my arm hurting, I just couldn’t hold on when the bike starting moving around on the brakes. I’ve got to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because they put in an amazing effort to at least get me out this afternoon.
After all that happened this morning it feels great to be on the front row, but the gap to Marc and Jorge is pretty big and it will be tough to beat them tomorrow. I’ll be giving it my all though because the support from the British crowd today really spurred me on. They’ve really got behind me and it was a good feeling to bounce back from the crashes to get a front row.”
Bradley Smith (Position: 10thd - Time: 2.02.409 - Laps: 7): “My lap time is something to be really proud of today because we made a big jump compared to the rest of the weekend. The overall result is not what we expected but going into QP1 showed we have been having a tough weekend.
So to end up close to the top six is positive but that gap to the front is obviously a big step. I still believe we can make another step with the bike for tomorrow. It will be a long race but it might be an advantage to be able to follow and learn something because on this track it seems easier to chase than make a lap time on your own.
It has not been an easy weekend but I’ve not made any mistakes and got faster every session, so I am looking forward the race and rewarding the amazing support from the British crowd.