Cal Crutchlow says he isn't surprised to be on pole position for the second round of the 2010 World Superbike Championship at Portimao, the Yamaha rider insisting he was always confident he had front running pace.
Crutchlow was in stunning form around the Portuguese circuit to not only go quicker than his rivals by almost half a second, but also slice more than three tenths off Ben Spies' Superbike lap record.
Having only qualified a provisional 14th on the grid at the end of Friday, Crutchlow played down the significance of his 'turnaround' between sessions, the reigning World Supersport champion maintaining he knew what he was capable of.
"The Superpole lap wasn't really a surprise to me to be honest,” he said. “We had a good session beforehand and I knew we could go really well in the qualifying session this morning. We left a lot in reserve, so down in 14th place I wasn't panicking.
“I knew we had a good pace for the pole session, I only used one qualifying tyre and we only needed one lap to do it.
Perhaps more importantly for Crutchlow, pole position – the first of his WSBK career – comes a month after Yamaha endured a torrid start to the year in Australia, the 25-year-old managing just a ninth place finish from third on the grid.
However, Crutchlow is happy with the upgrades Yamaha have introduced to the R1 between rounds and is more confident that he can challenge for victory come race day.
“Yamaha has done a fantastic job in the last month, it was hard work but we've got there in the end, all working together. I'm quietly confident we'll do a good job tomorrow as well."