Cal Crutchlow ended the opening day of practice at Brno in the Czech Republic in sixth position on the time sheets as the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rider returned to the venue where he earned his maiden premier class podium in 2012.

Crutchlow's fastest lap on the satellite YZF-R1 of 1m 56.800s left him 0.3s down on pacesetter Stefan Bradl on the LCR Honda and 0.2s outside the top three following FP2 this afternoon.

The British ace, who will join Ducati at the end of the season, made a flying start to his preparations for the 11th round of the MotoGP World Championship this morning, setting the third quickest time in FP1.

However, he encountered problems turning the M1 at the Czech circuit and also struggled for rear grip.

Crutchlow continued development work with a new fuel tank and seat upgrade unit, which he used for the first time at Indianapolis in the USA last weekend.

"It wasn't an easy first day here in Brno but the positive point is I was very consistent and the lap times between the top six are very close," said the Coventry man.

"The overall lap time is not the best but I am able to lap in the 56s consistently and that is encouraging for the rest of the weekend.

"We need to improve the bike, so I am hoping it stays dry tomorrow and we can try the modifications we need to improve.

"I can't turn the bike well and I am also struggling a little bit for rear grip," Crutchlow added.

"I got my first podium in Brno last year and it would be great to repeat that achievement on Sunday. It will be tough but I will be giving it my all."

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