Had mid-session spots of rain during Jerez qualifying developed into something more substantial, Cal Crutchlow would be celebrating his first MotoGP pole tonight.

Instead, the huge rain clouds drifted away from the Spanish circuit, allowing others to challenge his time, while an accident forced Crutchlow onto his spare bike.

Despite the disruption, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider finished the session in fourth place and just 0.007s from his second front row start in as many attempts.

"That was quite an eventful session to say the least and I've got to be happy with fourth position considering I had the crash," said Crutchlow. "I made a silly little mistake because I hit one of the damp patches and crashed out. It was a high-side but I wasn't even on the throttle.

"I think I was on the first lap with a new rear tyre and maybe it wasn't completely up to temperature when I hit the damp patch. I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they did an awesome job to get the second bike ready. It was set-up for the wet in case it rained and they did a brilliant job to get me back out so quickly.

"It was disappointing from the point of view that I lost some time on track and without that I'm sure I could have challenged for the front row again. But fourth on the grid is not a bad result at all and I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.

"I'm confident I can be fighting to be inside the top five again but I hope it is a full wet or dry race and not the mixed conditions we had yesterday."

Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start his second Yamaha race from seventh place.

"The changing weather conditions have not helped at all this weekend because I need time on the Yamaha to improve my feeling," he said. ""Cal has proven again today that the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 package is very competitive, so it is down to me to improve."


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