With just five minutes of Saturday's US MotoGP qualifying session at Laguna Seca left to go, Cal Crutchlow was still to record a lap time.
The Englishman's problems began with a 'strange' fall on an out-lap during final practice, damage from which put one of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines out of action for qualifying.
Crutchlow's other M1 then suffered a technical problem, thought to be a sensor issue, during the 15-minute Q2 pole shootout, forcing the four-time 2013 podium finisher to repeatedly return to the pits.
Once corrected Crutchlow was able to claim fifth on the grid, just 0.244s from pole, although it was still his worst qualifying performance of the season.
“Today has been a tough day, so still to be on the second row of the grid is not too bad considering what has happened,” said Crutchlow. “I crashed on my first lap out of the pits in FP4 and we need to check the front tyre because I wasn't even pushing.
“It was strange but we will sit down and analyse the data with Bridgestone to identify what happened. Unfortunately the bike couldn't be repaired in time and we had a small technical problem with the second bike at the start of QP2.
“We are still checking to see what happened but it meant I only really got one flying lap in. I am fifth and very close to the front row but it is still my worst qualifying result of the season and it is a bit disappointing.
“But I am optimistic for the race. The times are incredibly close and as always the goal will be to fight for the podium.”
Of the all-Honda front row, Crutchlow said: “This is clearly a Honda track. We know that. You never see Bradl and Bautista able to challenge. Marc [Marquez] is incredible with his speed at a new circuit. But we'll see tomorrow. I think it'll be a great battle. We lose time in one sector, but make up for it in the others.”
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