By Stephen English

Cal Crutchlow has warned his manufacturer MotoGP rivals that the privateer CRT bikes could be contenders if Sunday's season-ending Valencia race is run in wet conditions.

Following a rain-interrupted opening day of practice, where only limited running was possible in the afternoon because of conditions that were neither wet nor dry, Crutchlow said that the CRT riders could be on the pace of the factory prototypes.

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"In the wet conditions here I'd expect the CRT bike to be just as fast as us, as long as there's a decent rider," said Crutchlow.

"The circuit is quite small and they don't need a lot of power. It's all second, third, fourth gear and they don't use the fifth and sixth gears too often around here."

Crutchlow found himself boxed in behind a CRT at the start of the afternoon session, with the Yamaha rider unable to get the power down and spinning his rear wheel even in sixth gear.

With Aspar's Randy de Puniet having set the pace in that session, Crutchlow clearly feels that in similar conditions the CRT bikes could be in position to spring a surprise result.