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Catalunya MotoGP: Crutchlow front row return, ‘in two minds’ over tyres

“I'm in two minds at the moment. The soft is good but I can do similar lap times on the harder tyre which isn't usually like me” – Cal Crutchlow.
Cal Crutchlow will start his quest for a third successive MotoGP podium from second on the grid at Catalunya, after a superb qualifying performance on his satellite Tech 3 Yamaha.

The result marked Crutchlow's first front row since the opening round in Qatar and the first time he had been the leading Yamaha since Estoril last year.

Even though Dani Pedrosa smashed the lap record for pole position, with what Crutchlow said was an "incredible lap", tomorrow's 25 lap race looks set to be very competitive.

"It's going to be a difficult race because there are so many riders on the same pace," said Crutchlow. "I think that Dani and Jorge have a little bit over some of the other guys, but I believe that there are a lot of guys on a similar pace.

“We know the speed and consistency of Jorge and Dani's lap today was incredible so it's nice to be on the front row with these guys. Hopefully we can get away with them tomorrow and do a good job.”

Having spent all of Friday's afternoon using the hard compound tyre Crutchlow is one of the few riders who can feel confident in racing either compound during the race. Whereas most of the field have complained about the lack of side grip with the harder compound, Crutchlow is confident he could make it work.

"I'm in two minds at the moment. The soft is good but I can do similar lap times on the harder tyre which isn't usually like me. Last year at this race we were a long way off with the hard tyre so we've improved in that area and I don't see any reason why we can't race that tyre tomorrow but we'll assess it tonight and in the morning."

By Stephen English.

Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.

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June 16, 2013 9:27 AM

I think it's clear to most impartial observers (and very clear to Yamaha) that Cal is performing beyond expectation on what is unequivocally a 2nd-tier bike in a 2nd-tier team. And while the machine specs might be close to factory (the works bikes have a more recent electronics package and a fuel tank that lowers and centralises the bikes's mass on a full fuel load), those small differences do make a difference when you are trying to eke out tenths of a second. But the advantages of factory support extend further than machine spec, as the riders also get more private testing time (e.g.. Aragon next week), as well as the benefit of any new parts, like the new seamless transmission which they are rumoured to be testing shortly (and which Tech 3 certainly WON'T get). For any satellite rider to place amongst factory riders has always been a creditable achievement, and it's only natural that any satellite rider managing to do it regularly would hope for a higher level of support.

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