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Mugello: Crutchlow defies crash to qualify fourth
1 June 2013
Cal Crutchlow admits he 'can't complain' about qualifying just 0.004secs shy of the front row for the Italian Grand Prix after interrupting his session with a potentially costly crash.
The Briton slid off his Tech 3 Yamaha at turn three around Mugello five minutes into the session, forcing him back to the pit lane to jump aboard the spare machine for a last gasp attempt at improving his lap time.
Despite the quick turnaround, Crutchlow did exactly that, lifting himself as high as third at one stage before Andrea Dovizioso pipped him to the front row by a tiny margin as the chequered flag dropped.
Given the crash and the fact that he has been 'struggling with the M1 all weekend', Crutchlow had reason to be pleased at the end of qualifying.
“That was certainly another eventful qualifying session and after crashing out I can't complain too much to finish fourth and be only 0.004s away from the front row,” he said. “Luckily I could make it back to the paddock pretty quickly and get out on the second bike and to be on the second row is a good result given what happened.
“I have been struggling all weekend with the bike to be honest. And although this is my third year at this track, I still don't feel so comfortable, so to be near the front and not running a bad pace gives me confidence for the race. I need to improve in the first sector and that was my biggest issue yesterday, so we have work to do.
“It is going to be a long and tough race and we need to make the bike work better. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing an awesome job to help me find the best setting and hopefully I can be fighting for the podium again tomorrow like I was in Le Mans.”
Team-mate Bradley Smith, meanwhile, made it through to Q2 via Q1, the Briton going on to qualify a solid 11th despite his injured arm and finger.
“First of all I was just happy that I was able to ride today after the big crash in practice yesterday. My left hand is not in the best condition but the Clinica Mobile staff did an incredible job working on my finger and my wrist.
"Sometimes there were four people working on me at the same time, so I owe a huge thanks to all of them for helping me to be out on track today.
"Considering this whole situation I really have to be happy to have made my way to QP2, even if 11th is a little bit disappointing. But I preferred to save my energy for tomorrow's race, which will probably be very demanding from a physical point of view, instead of risking too much for a better lap time this afternoon.
"I'm also very pleased with the set-up of the bike and we just need to make a couple of small changes for the warm up, but all things considered we should be proud of what we achieved given my physical condition.
"Now I will just try to get as much rest as possible for tomorrow as I want to collect a decent number of points for the Championship and hopefully battle for another top 10.”
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