Tech 3 Yamaha riders Andrea Dovizoso and Cal Crutchlow took on the status of 'best of the result' following first free practice for the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, but both are optimistic of a step forward ahead of qualifying.
Having taken three podium finishes in three consecutive races – the most by any Tech 3 rider in their history -, Dovizioso comes to the United States looking to add to that tally, but found himself playing catch up to factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies, the man he is hoping to supersede for 2013.
“It has been a positive start to the weekend but the gap to the front is quite big. The second session was a bit strange because after the red flag there was a lot of traffic on track in the final stages and it was hard to get a clear lap in. I could have possibly done the same time as Ben (Spies) but certainly not the low 21s the top three were doing.
“My aim for this afternoon was to get closer to Ben and w e managed that. I was almost 0.7s behind him this morning but only 0.3s this afternoon, so that is a good step forward. We improved the bike so I am satisfied with the work the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did today. We still have some margin to improve and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
With Dovizioso in fifth position, Crutchlow followed him in sixth, but suffered a fall along the way that left him with a cut on his leg.
“Today didn't really go according to plan because this afternoon I had a silly crash. It was my own fault and we have to look at the data to fully understand what happened. I didn't feel I did anything different in that corner to other laps but we will have to check.
“I've got a small cut on my right leg but fortunately nothing worse because it was a fast crash. I am sorry to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew though because they will be busy tonight fixing up the bike. I am still reasonably happy because I was able to go back out again and gain a bit of time and in both sessions I was inside the top six, so we are pretty competitive.
“We need to calm the bike down a little bit but I will sit down with my crew tonight and come up with a plan that I'm sure will help me stay challenging inside the top six for the rest of the weekend.”