Cal Crutchlow feels a late crash in qualifying cost him a shot at qualifying on the front row, but nonetheless expressed his pleasure at his riding and how the LCR Honda squad is operating at Motegi.
Despite the late fall, Crutchlow managed to place fifth at the close of the 15-minute Q2 shootout, with his fastest lap 0.448s off the quickest time of the afternoon.
Crutchlow again showed well throughout Saturday, ending FP3 in second, and his pace is such that pole-sitter Valentino Rossi cited his name twice in the post-qualifying press conference as a rider that could pose the top three problems on Sunday.
Speaking on Saturday afternoon, Crutchlow spoke the current RC213V's familiar failings when explaining the qualifying fall: having to maximise braking potential due to acceleration deficiencies.
“Again I think it was a bit of a missed opportunity to get onto the front row, I made a small mistake under braking trying to push to make up for the lack of acceleration and the speed of our bike this weekend.
“We are doing a good job as a team though, I'm very happy with how we are working and how I'm riding at the moment.”
“I'm looking forward to a good race on Sunday, not only do we need to do a good job for the LCR team but also for Honda and try and help them out in the constructor's championship if we can.”
Crutchlow also had a word for Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who broke a collarbone at the close of Friday afternoon's free practice session.
“I have to step up a little with Dani being absent. As I said yesterday, we hope that Dani comes back soon, it's a shame that he's not here to race this weekend.”