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Le Mans: 'Small fracture' for Crutchlow
18 May 2013
Cal Crutchlow will start Tech 3's home French MotoGP from fourth on the grid and with a 'small fracture' to his right shin, sustained during final practice.
The Englishman was kicked into a highside when the rear of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 lost traction on the exit of a right-hander in the cool Le Mans conditions.
Lying on the side of the circuit, the session was briefly halted to allow marshals to assist the Yamaha rider.
Fortunately, Crutchlow was eventually able to walk away and return to the pits where - after a medical check - he was declared fit to continue. Crutchlow went on to lap 0.4s from pole, allowing him to head row two of Sunday's grid.
Crutchlow fell twice on Saturday at the previous Jerez round, then rode to a 'battered and bruised' fifth place in the race.
“I can't be disappointed to have qualified in fourth position after how the day went," said Crutchlow. "Unfortunately it was another difficult one for us and for sure the crash in free practice four didn't make things easier.
“We've struggling the whole weekend in a few areas and I still don't feel completely confident with the setup of the bike, so we have some work to go through tonight.
“I'm also feeling very sore after the crash and the medical staff diagnosed that I've got a small fracture of the right shin but that will not prevent me from giving 100% in tomorrow's all-important home race for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team!”
Rookie team-mate Bradley Smith matched his bets qualifying to date with ninth place and will line-up alongside MotoGP legend and factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi.
"I'm definitely happy to qualify on the third row today," said Smith. "We made some great improvements throughout the whole weekend getting consistently faster during each session.
"Nevertheless I'm embittered about the gap to the fastest because it's just over a second and my aim was to be a little bit closer, but probably I would need to worry if I'm completely satisfied after finishing ninth.
"Anyway, I want to say a big thanks to my team because they prepared a fantastic bike for me that gave me more and more confidence with every single lap. I'm really looking forward to putting on a good show in front of the French fans during tomorrow's 28 laps lasting race.“
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