Cal Crutchlow believes he can challenge the 'Factory' Ducatis and, if things work in his favour, Valentino Rossi from seventh on the grid in Sunday's MotoGP race at Jerez.

The 29-year old opted to use the two-stop strategy in the 15-minute Q2 shootout but a wrong tyre choice limited his final pace.

Along with that, two mistakes on his flying qualifying lap lost him 0.35s and means he'll head the third row of the grid, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Yonny Hernandez.

Still, the Englishman remained optimistic, despite missing out on a potential front row start.

"I qualified seventh but I should have been higher," he said. "I need to improve in qualifying. Usually it's one of my good areas. I can still do a fast lap used I be able to do. It's not been the best run. I feel at every race we should have been on the front row. Either with me or there was something wrong with the bike.

"Today I chose the wrong front tyre. I chose the softer, I should have chosen the harder. After one lap it was already wrecked. I ran the three rear tyre strategy and we never had time to change the front. I should have scrapped the run and gone out with the fresh hard in the last run. That's in hindsight.

"I also made a mistake on the last lap in two corners, I lost three and a half tenths to Marc. Three and a half tenths would have put me on the front row. It's one of those things. I'm quite optimistic.

"I think our battle will be with maybe the two Ducatis tomorrow. If we ride well, maybe with Valentino. But you never know with Valentino. He could come out tomorrow morning and do a run that will be five seconds faster than me as well."

Having looked at free practice times, Crutchlow is sure pole-sitter Jorge Lorenzo is out of reach with Jerez' succession of fast corners suiting his high-corner speed style.

"We need to be aiming towards the front. The front is not Jorge because he's way ahead of us. I can tell you that. He's way ahead of Marc and Valentino. He rides fantastic around here. His style suits this place perfect. But I am optimistic."

When running long runs Crutchlow was suffering with in corner entry. It is, he said, a problem the CWM LCR team will address on Saturday evening.

"We need to look through the data tonight. I am having a problem in corner entry into turn two, six and 13. We don't understand why. Our bike is doing it and the other bikes are not. We'll look into that and see what we can do.

"Overall I'm quite happy. We know the cooler conditions suit our bike. It suits my experience riding the Honda. In Malaysia in the greasy track I had a different package. It takes a little bit of getting used to.

"Maybe on Monday [at the test] we'll be able to work through settings to help with that. In the meantime I aim to finish in a good position tomorrow. I don't see any reason why not."



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