Crutchlow aims for top 10 at Motorland Aragon
Cal Crutchlow is confident he has the speed to challenge for a top 10 finish in tomorrow's Motorland Aragon MotoGP round after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider narrowly missed securing a place on the third row of the grid.
American team-mate Colin Edwards is also determined to battle for a strong result despite a tough qualifying session left him uncharacteristically outside of the top 10 on the grid ahead of his 150th MotoGP start tomorrow.
Crutchlow will make his debut at the technical 3.155 miles track from 12th place on the grid, the British rider unlucky not to see his efforts rewarded with a much higher starting position.
The 2009 World Supersp ort champion has quickly got to grips with the Motorland Aragon track, despite yesterday's disruption when second practice was cancelled because of a major malfunction in the electricity supply to the state-of-the-art venue.
With 75 minutes on track this morning to compensate for the time lost yesterday, Crutchlow was able to lap almost two seconds faster than he managed on Friday, boosting his confidence ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session.
Crutchlow made big progress with improving the set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine and a best lap of 1.49.893 secured him 12th place on the grid. Today's session though provided further evidence of just how competitive the MotoGP class is this year, with Crutchlow's time less than 0.2s away from seventh position.
Edwards will start a further three places back in 15th, the 37-year-old using his vast experience and knowle dge to try and improve rear grip in hot conditions that saw track temperatures soar to 41 degrees.
He managed to set a best time of 1.50.105, which was over 0.3s faster than his 2010 qualifying pace, but frustratingly he was unable to qualify inside the top 10 for only the second time this season.
Position 12th - Time 1.49.893 - Laps 25
“I don't think 12th place on the grid really reflects just how well myself and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been performing this weekend. I've come to a new track and pretty much lost a session with all of yesterday's power problems and yet another couple of tenths would have put me in the top six on the grid. I am really happy with the way I'm riding and happy with my crew, who have done a great job again this weekend. The times are so close that 12th could quite easily have been sixth or seventh, but I'm still confident that I can race inside the top 10 tomorrow. It is going to be difficult because we've got a bit of a speed issue on the straight. I'm really strong in three sections of the track but in the last sector I'm a long way down the split times and that makes it quite difficult. It is not going to be easy to pass people but I'll get my head down and push as hard as I can to do the best job possible. The goal as always will be the top 10 and I'm looking forward to a good battle and picking up more valuable points."
Position 15th - Time 1.50.105 - Laps 22
“That was a hard session to say the least and starting my 150th MotoGP race from 15th on the grid certainly wasn't in the plan. We've gone from qualifying seventh in Misano to 15th, so it is clear we've had a few issues this weekend. One is the bike isn't the fastest out there and I've not got a lot of rear grip. The moment I touch the throttle the rear tyre spins, and that combined with the engine means we simply aren't fast enough. I guess we've got to back to the drawing board tonight and see if we can come up with something, but it is going to be a tough race. Like I always do, I'll be going out and giving it my maximum effort for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and see how far we can climb up the order and score a few points.”