Cal Crutchlow dismissed suggestions improvements to his Honda package, namely a revised Ohlins suspension set up, was behind his run to third on the grid for the Aragon MotoGP in what will be first front row start since COTA in 2019.

In a season beset by multiple injury concerns, Crutchlow was back to some of his best form on the LCR Honda in qualifying, following his run to fourth on the grid at Le Mans last weekend by going one better in Aragon. 

A timely boost for Crutchlow as he tries to secure a seat for 2021 - with Aprilia now his sole option if Andrea Iannone is unable to return - the Briton reminded the paddock of his skills at this level to take pride at finding himself alongside Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales on the grid.

“It is great to be back on the front row, Austin was a long time ago! I am not really a great qualifier in these last two or three years, so it’s great to be on the front row with these two guys. They are setting a great pace week in, week out so it is nice to be pushing for a lap. 

“My team have done a great job after Le Mans, coming back from Barcelona my arm was not 100% and it is still not 100% but it has recovered a bit and I feel better again. So it is nice to get a front row after a fourth in Le Mans, it was a shame about the race because I think we could have had a good result.”

With Repsol Honda counterpart Alex Marquez also experiencing an upturn in performance after his run to the podium in Le Mans and maiden Q2 showing in Aragon, it was suggested changes to the Honda suspension has motivated these gains.

However, Crutchlow dismissed this, even going as far to say he may not continue with it despite his own improvements in Le Mans and Aragon.

“It is positive for some riders, not so much for others,” he continued. “I have tried it, I tried it in Le Mans and I tried it again this weekend, but it has its negatives so we’re unsure if we’ll continue with it or not. 

“Why I think everyone is going faster at Honda; Taka started the year well and started with a championship-winning bike, and I am really impressed with what Alex has done over the year because he has made small steps and the result is massive between the beginning of the year and now. 

“I had Barcelona, better in Le Mans and now here, it’s consistency of riding the bike. I don’t think the bike has changed so much at all, we need to understand the rear tyre more but I don’t think that will change much to the end of the season. We will do the best with what we have.”