Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Andrea Dovizioso's bid to secure a second front row start in 2012 was ended by a late rain shower in the final stages of qualifying for the Hertz British Grand Prix today.
The Italian was just about to start his push for a fast lap time on Bridgestone's soft tyres when a short but heavy rain shower started to fall on the super fast Silverstone circuit with just over eight minutes of the session remaining.
The rain intervention made it impossible for Dovizioso to improve on his best lap tim e of 2.04.304 and he will start in eighth place on the grid for tomorrow's 20-lap race.
Although he will start from the middle of the third row, Dovizioso remains optimistic that he can extend his outstanding record in the British Grand Prix, despite not feeling 100% comfortable on his YZR-M1 in blustery conditions.
The former 125cc World Champion is the only rider starting tomorrow's race to finish on the podium at Silverstone in 2010 and '11 and his solitary MotoGP victory came in the 2009 British Grand Prix at Donington Park.
British rider Cal Crutchlow's participation in his home race is in doubt after he fell heavily during this morning's final practice session.
The 26-year-old lost control of his YZR-M1 machine at the fast Chapel Curve and he suffered a heavy blow to his left foot and ankle. After initial checks in the Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, he was transferred to hospital in Oxford for scans to determine the exact extent of the damage.
Crutchlow was unable to take part in the qualifying session but if he is declared fit to start the 20-lap race, he will be allowed to do so from the back of the grid having posted the eighth quickest time in practice yesterday.
Further updates on Crutchlow's injuries will be made available at the earliest opportunity.
Position 8th - Time 2'04.304 - Laps 21
“It is a big pity that the rain came at the end of the session because I am confident I could have been much higher up the grid. It will not be easy starting from eighth pos ition because it is a very short run to the first corner and you need to be close to the front to avoid any trouble and be in contention right from the start. It wasn't a very good session and I think some of that is down to me. Like yesterday the wind was really strong and it is difficult to ride close to the limit in those conditions. I just didn't feel comfortable and because of that I wasn't relaxed like normal on the bike and I felt rigid. The wind was so strong in places that keeping control of the bike was very difficult. I am still confident that the times I was doing before the rain came will be competitive in the race. We need to wait and see what the weather will do but I have a good record in the British Grand Prix and hope it continues tomorrow. I also hope Cal will be able to start the race. I know his home race is very important to him and all of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team hope his injuries won't stop him from riding.”