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MotoGP Jerez: Crutchlow ahead of the Spaniards

4 May 2013

Satellite Yamaha star Cal Crutchlow moved to the top of the standings during Saturday morning free practice for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.

The Tech 3 rider, a close third on Friday behind home heroes Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, set the best lap of the weekend early in the session and became the only rider so far to break the 1m 39s mark, on his seventh of 19 laps.

Crutchlow improved by almost 0.8s over Friday, but it wasn't all smooth running for the Englishman who was forced to pit with some kind of brake issue - and made his anger clear after spotting the apparent fault at the front of his bike.

Nevertheless, Crutchlow - quickest at the Jerez pre-season test - remained in front to the end, although Pedrosa closed to within 0.019s for Repsol Honda. Factory Yamaha's world champion Lorenzo was third, with team-mate Valentino Rossi completing a top four covered by just 0.130s.

Lorenzo is celebrating his 26th birthday today and will have the final corner of the circuit officially renamed in his honour.

The top ten fastest riders after FP3 receive direct access to the second and final part of qualifying, takes place on Saturday morning, prompting an action-packed end to the session.

The biggest surprise came from Andrea Dovizioso, who launched his Ducati from 13th to fifth in the closing stages - and ahead of rookie race winner Marc Marquez. Hector Barbera also delivered a scorching time on his Avintia CRT machine, taking seventh place (+0.640s).

Nicky Hayden (Ducati), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Ducati) - who was dragged to fifth while following Rossi at the halfway stage and later suffered a technical problem - and Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) were the other riders to make the direct Q2 cut.

The manufacturer riders forced to participate in Q1 are Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3), with Aleix Espargaro - who suffered a small fall - between them in twelfth for Aspar. Ducati test rider and wild-card Michele Pirro was 14th on the 'laboratory' version of the GP13.

Claudio Corti (Forward Racing) was the only rider on track not to improve this morning.

Karel Abraham, returning from a broken collarbone at Austin, did not ride this morning and looks to have withdrawn from the remainder of the event.

Free practice (3):
1. Cal Crutchlow
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Andrea Dovizioso
6. Marc Marquez
7. Hector Barbera
8. Nicky Hayden
9. Andrea Iannone
10. Alvaro Bautista

11. Stefan Bradl
12. Aleix Espargaro
13. Bradley Smith
14. Michele Pirro
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Randy De Puniet
17. Hiroshi Aoyama
18. Lukas Pesek
19. Bryan Staring
20. Yonny Hernandez
21. Colin Edwards
22. Michael Laverty
23. Claudio Corti
Karel Abraham


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