Cal Crutchlow remains optimistic of a 'fairy tale' ending in his final race for the Yamaha Tech 3 team at Valencia tomorrow, even if the British MotoGP star was disappointed after qualifying in fifth position.
Crutchlow, whose time of 1m 31.113s put him 0.088s ahead of rookie team-mate Bradley Smith, believes he can fight for a rostrum place in the final round of the 2013 world championship Spain.
The 28-year-old, who will start from a top six position for the 16th time in 18 races this season, will leave Herve Poncharal's team to become a factory Ducati rider and Crutchlow is determined to sign off in style at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
“I can't be too happy with today's result but I am still optimistic for the race. I need to make some big changes in the warm-up tomorrow morning trying to improve my feeling with the bike,” he said.
“We were unlucky and tried some settings that didn't work. We went just as fast today as yesterday when normally you should be improving.
“I was happy to qualify in front of Bradley again because he did another great job and hopefully we can have another good battle like at the last race in Japan.
“It feels strange to think that tomorrow is going to be my last race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team but I believe I can fight for the podium and that would be a fairy tale way to sign off and begin a new adventure.”
Crutchlow's time put him within 0.4s of the top three of Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa and 0.193s behind Valentino Rossi on the Factory M1.
Commenting on title leader Marquez pushing hard to claim pole, Crutchlow said: “Marc is taking some risks and I don't know why. He could have an easy third or fourth tomorrow and be world champion, but part of me thinks he's going to try to go with Lorenzo.
“Looking at Lorenzo's pace in FP4 then Marc is better off saying 'they can go for it'.”