Cal Crutchlow is confident of ending his recent run of bad luck with a good result at Assen after finishing the opening day of free practice fifth fastest.

Having secured a strong fourth place in Jerez, the 29-year old has crashed out of the three subsequent races but is keen to right that record at a track where he scored his first pole position in the MotoGP class in 2013.

Crutchlow spent most of Thursday lapping on used tyres as he worked on race pace before switching to new rubber in the final five minutes, which ensured he climbed well inside the top ten to end up fifth fastest.

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"We did both sessions on one set of tyres and then I put a new set in towards the end," said Crutchlow, currently seventh in the championship. "This is the reason why we were quite far down the order and outside the top ten initially. I think I was more concerned than the team. I did my fastest lap after 33 laps with the used tyre and then we put in the new tyres and went a second a lap faster.

"This is always the case but it was disappointing to see everyone going fast but still it's difficult situation to be in. We had a few problems in a few areas with a little bit of chatter but overall I was quite pleased with how the bike was working and our consistency. I think we can be competitive this weekend."

In a bid to improve his pace, Crutchlow has looked at the data from the Repsol Honda riders, who ended the days first and second fastest. Despite this Crutchlow predicts a difficult qualifying on Friday as riders with access to softer tyres will come to the fore.

"We have to improve in some areas. I have the data from Dani and Marc. Marc's special in some places here. Dani is special in different places. It's difficult to gauge again with them two. It seems Dani is strong in one area, Marc another and me another again.

"It's really difficult to try and put a lap time together and to see where you want to improve, Marc's way or Dani's way. I think I'm more suited to the way Marc is because Dani's 20 kilos lighter. We have to push tomorrow but the soft tyre is giving them [the bikes with dispensations] too much of an advantage. 24 litres is giving them 10kph at the end of a tiny straight. It's going to be difficult for the qualifying tomorrow I think."