Cal Crutchlow sees his first pole position in over a year as reward to his LCR Honda squad after struggling in qualifying in recent races as he eyes a second win of the 2018 MotoGP season.

The British rider stormed to pole position with lap record pace, eventually taking top spot with a 1m 37.653s, and looks a strong contender for victory at the Spanish race having topped Friday’s free practice times with impressive long run pace.

Crutchlow has secured his first MotoGP pole position since 2016 at Silverstone and after a frustrating pair of qualifying performances in Argentina and the United States, compounded by his crash in the Austin race, the 32-year-old was pleased to pay back his team’s efforts.

“I’ve only been on the front row once since here in Jerez last year, so it’s nice to take pole position. We’re here to race of course, and that’s the key point of the weekend, but after bad qualifying in the last two races it’s nice to make up for that,” Crutchlow said.

“I hope it’s going to be a more intriguing race than last year. Dani rode incredible last year and strung the race out and nobody was able to keep that pace but I think this year it’s a lot closer.

“The Suzukis are there, Dovi’s got the pace, Valentino will always surprise on a Sunday, but Dani and Marc are I think the guys to beat in the moment.

“Johann races better normally than what he qualifies. It’s going to be a long, tough race. I think we’re up to the challenge. I think that we have to aim high and hopefully get a good result tomorrow.”

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Crutchlow entered the Spanish MotoGP race weekend hinting at potential 2019 options in addition to his current Honda contract, of which he’s in his first season of the two-year deal, but wants to fully focus on the short-term and hunting a second win of the season after his success in Argentina last month.

“I have a very good team and a very good bike at the moment and of course I am happy because I am on pole position,” he said. “We are doing a good job in the championship so far.

“In the end you have to look at all options for my career and for my life and how to be treated. At the moment I am riding the Honda and I am on pole in Jerez.

"Tomorrow I will aim to get on to the podium for my team and for Honda. That is it. I am only looking at tomorrow at the minute.”

Crutchlow could become the first British rider to clinch victory from pole position in the premier class of grand prix motorcycle racing since Barry Sheene in 1981 when he achieved the feat in Sweden.

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