LCR Honda CASTROL’s Cal Crutchlow will start Sunday’s Grand Prix of Spain from pole position. It is the first pole for the Briton and his team since his home grand prix at Silverstone in 2016 – where he went on to seal second place – but the 32 year-old will hope to go one better in the 25-lap race and claim a second victory of this season.
Crutchlow had been in and among the top positions throughout free practice, and then made an audacious strategy during qualifying
He tried three flying laps in the quick-fire 15-minute session. The tactic paid off as he sat in pole after his second run, before going on to improve even further in the final moments and sit comfortably over a quarter of a second ahead of the next best, and in prime spot to challenge for more race glory.
“I’ve only been on the front row once since here in Jerez last year, so it’s nice to take a pole position. We’re here to race of course, and that’s the key point of the weekend, but after bad qualifying in the last two races it’s nice to make up for that and get the pole for my LCR Honda CASTROL Team”, Crutchlow said.
“I’m not sure these are the best conditions for our bike, honestly speaking. We have to manage the situation with the front tyre very carefully, but I think we did a good job overall today. We made the gamble with three tyres, although I might still have taken pole using just two if I’d needed.”
“I didn’t push enough with the first tyre. I just wanted to finish the lap and set a benchmark, so I wish I’d pushed a bit harder. Then with the second I found I had more grip than I thought.”
“We’ve done the hard work in the winter in the tests and I think it’s all paying off now. I hope for a good race tomorrow and an enjoyable race for myself and all the fans. I’m sure there’s going to be a good battle.”
Dani Pedrosa was second and said that he was surprised and happy to be on the frontrow
“I wish to thank my team for all the hard work this weekend. When you’re not 100% physically fit, it’s not easy to find the best feeling on the bike, but the team is helping a lot and I appreciate it. Now we have to focus on choosing the right tyre for the race, as we haven’t decided that yet. It looks like several riders have a good pace, so tomorrow we’ll have to focus a lot on ourselves and try to get a good start. The race this year will be two laps shorter and that’s important, but we must see what conditions we’ll have and what we’re able to do.”
Johann Zarco took third on the grid
“I always ride at the maximum and I trust the bike, although FP4 was quite difficult today with used tyres, but the good thing is, if we struggle during the Free Practice we can prepare the race in a better way. Now in the heat I could not find the speed from yesterday, also this morning I was feeling good, but the temperatures make a huge difference. I have a decent feeling on the right side, so I tried to push hard. I’m really happy, it’s just coming and enjoy to be in the first row. I want to take this opportunity again to fight for the victory tomorrow”, he explained.
— MotoGP™??? (@MotoGP) May 5, 2018