Cal Crutchlow has said he remains in the dark as to his potential in dry conditions at Motegi after he produced a remarkable turnaround on Saturday to qualify for the Japanese Grand Prix in fifth.

The Englishman joked he shouldn’t be taking as many risks as he did during Q2 when a lap of 1m 46.189s put him in fifth place, 0.4s back of pole sitter Marc Marquez. In FP3 Crutchlow could place no higher than 17th.

Yet as Saturday’s running was held in sodden then dry-damp conditions, race day promises to be fully dry. Considering Crutchlow ended a dry Friday in twelfth, complaining of those familiar issues with corner entry, his potential on Sunday is far from clear.

“They were difficult conditions because there were a lot of wet patches, but it’s difficult every corner or every lap of every circuit,” said the three-time MotoGP race winner. “But I’m 34 years old, I shouldn’t be riding like that, putting my neck on the line week in, week out!

“But it’s good fun, it’s entertaining and I felt good so I was able to push. I made a mistake in the third sector, I ran on the water and I couldn’t get off it so I lost three tenths or something.

“But I did my best and my best is second row and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

On his chances for Sunday, he added, “I don’t know if I’m going to be on the podium or 15th. I have no idea at the minute! We have to look at the situation in the morning warm-up and work. We have a different setting of the bike to try.

“Today we weren’t able to do that with what we used in the practices yesterday. Today was a bit of a wasted day [with regards to] set-up. But I’m optimistic about what we’ll try in the morning.”