Britain's Cal Crutchlow is predicting an 'exciting' showdown under the new qualifying format after the Tech 3 Yamaha rider remained in the top three following the final free practice sessions in Qatar.

Crutchlow's fastest time of 1m 56.326s was only 0.242s behind Repsol Honda MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez as he set the third best time ahead of Valentino Rossi.

Twelve riders will battle it out to determine their positions on the grid for Sunday's night race in what promises to be a thrilling 15-minute qualifying battle.

Crutchlow said: "The track was not in a good condition again tonight and it was very dirty but I am still happy with my performance and it is good to remain inside the top three.

"I was confident I'd be in the top 10 to move straight into QP2 and I am looking forward to the 15-minute session to decide places on the grid tomorrow night.

"I think it will be exciting for the fans and also for us because nobody will be hanging around," he added.

"I felt comfortable on the bike again in the second session because we made a couple of changes earlier that didn't really work.

"I still need to improve in the braking zone and I'd like to improve the rear grip too, but I have been fast in every session so far and that bodes well for the race on Sunday night."

Crutchlow's team-mate, Bradley Smith, has also been automatically seeded into the decisive qualifying session after concluding the second night in ninth place.


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