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MotoGP Jerez: Falls leave Crutchlow ‘battered and bruised’

4 May 2013

Saturday at the Spanish MotoGP began perfectly for Cal Crutchlow, who moved to the head of the standings in third free practice.

But the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 star then suffered fast lowside falls in each of the following sessions, including a nasty final-turn accident in qualifying.

The Englishman returned on his spare bike, but missed out on a front row place by just 0.291s to Marc Marquez.

Complaining of lower back pain, Crutchlow underwent medical checks in the Clinica Mobile immediately after the session, but has been given the all-clear to race.

"It has been a very difficult day for obvious reasons. The two crashes were very big but the second one was particularly hard because it was very fast,” said Crutchlow.

“The first crash [in FP4] the temperature was quite a lot different from the morning and I just got caught out and it was my own mistake. In the second crash [in qualifying] some people felt there was something on the track but I don't think that was the case to be honest.

“I made a mistake in the braking and rather than going straight the front brake lever locked into my hand. But this was a really big crash and I'm proud that I got back to the garage and went back out to try and go faster. It seems in the warmer conditions it is quite difficult but I am not the only one feeling this.

“I'm looking forward to the race and we will make some changes with the bike to try and improve the front feeling in the hot conditions. It seems everybody is struggling and it is not like me to have two crashes in one day. I'm a bit battered and bruised but it won't stop me from giving it 100% in tomorrow's race."

Fellow frontrunners Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi also crashed in qualifying.

Rookie team-mate Bradley Smith will start the 27-lap race from twelfth position. Outside the top ten after FP3, Smith reached the final part if qualifying courtesy of second place to Stefan Bradl in a close Q1 session.

"It was a great job to get into QP2 again today because I really had to fight to make that happen,” admitted Smith. “My race pace is quite good and I am confident but it is going to be a very long and difficult race in the heat.

“I need to be confident when the tyres drop because it looks like the grip drops down a lot after only three laps and tyre management will be vital. I have made slow progress again all weekend and once again I am working on the same things I've been trying so far since I first rode the YZR-M1 machine.

“It is my riding style and how I am riding the bike where I need to work on but tomorrow is another learning day. I need to get a good start and see if I can follow some of those in the top 10 to get as much as experience as I can."