Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow headed a very surprising front row for tomorrow’s Czech Republic MotoGP race, with the British rider storming to his second pole position of the season with a lap record time of 1:55.527, more than two-tenths quicker than the next surprise of the day, GO&FUN Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista. The two satellite team riders managed to stave off the current ruling triumvirate of MotoGP, with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez completing the front row, ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, with Crutchlow’s young teammate Bradley Smith also surprising in grabbing the last spot on the second row. Valentino Rossi was a disappointed seventh behind Smith, with the Italian unable to take advantage of the softer rear tire’s increased grip.
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal...
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow grabbed his second pole position of the season at Brno.
Crutchlow was already brimming with confidence after turning a 1:56.156 lap (the then-quickest lap of the day) in Saturday morning’s FP3 practice session, and his first flying lap of 1:56.081 quickly shot him to the top of the leaderboard. His sixth lap was the stunner however, with the 1:55.527 effort eclipsing Lorenzo’s lap record from a year ago by more than two-tenths of a second, and an improvement of more than half a second from his morning FP3 best lap.
“I am really happy to be on pole position again and I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team,” said Crutchlow, who was finally using the factory fuel tank on his satellite bike for this weekend. “It has not been an easy weekend while we have been working on improving the bike, but in every session we have progressed and got faster. I felt really good on that lap and to set the circuit best lap is a great achievement for the whole team to be proud of. I just pushed as hard as I could and it is nice to take another pole position because I feel this is more of a true pole after Assen. Jorge wasn’t in Assen but this time it feels great to be fastest with everybody on track. I am looking forward to the race and the objective is to finish on the podium like last year. It would be great to have a strong result tomorrow so I can go to my home race in Silverstone with some big confidence.”
Alvaro Bautista took his best-ever...
Alvaro Bautista took his best-ever qualifying position in MotoGP by going second quickest; he also qualified on the front row at the previous Indy MotoGP race.
Bautista took advantage of a tow off of Marquez on his quick lap to grab his best qualifying spot of the season, bettering his previous best front row grid position at last week’s Indianapolis round. “I am really happy with our performance today. Already this morning I could feel an improvement with the set-up of the bike and we had better grip on the rear. My pace was good on used rubber and then when we put the fresh tires on in qualifying I was able to take advantage. It was good fun and now I am just hoping to get a good start and run at the front for as long as possible. I felt great on the bike today so hopefully we can have a similar feeling with it tomorrow and keep the pace up when the tires drop off.”
Marc Marquez qualified on...
Marc Marquez qualified on the front row at Brno and will be looking for his third consecutive victory.
Marquez was obviously disappointed to miss out on pole, but the Spaniard is still starting from the front row, and there’s no doubt after winning three races in a row
that the Repsol Honda
rookie is on a roll. "I'm happy because we’re on the front row and that was goal before qualifying,” said Marquez. “I’m disappointed though because I could not take advantage of the second tire because there was a lot of traffic and some riders were waiting for a tow; and when I tried to push, the tire was already too cold. But it is what it is - one day I will look to follow them, another day it will be the opposite! With regards to the race, I feel confident as I'm comfortable on the bike and have a good foundation and good pace. If the race is dry, then I feel ready to challenge for the win."
Jorge Lorenzo qualified a...
Jorge Lorenzo qualified a disappointed fifth after suffering rear tire grip problems all through qualifying.
After being quickest for the majority of Friday practice, Lorenzo was disappointed in the problems with rear grip he was encountering on Saturday. “I think the others could take advantage of the (grip) potential of the rear tire, especially Bautista and Crutchlow,” said Lorenzo. “Marc, Dani, and the worst part, myself, we couldn’t take advantage of all the potential; I had so much (rear tire) spinning, we are checking now (on the data) what happened in the qualifying. I expected much more than I did. Anyway, second row is not the best, but is not terrible.”
MotoGP Brno qualifying results:
1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:55.527
2. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda 1:55.754
3. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:55.863
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Honda 1:55.868
5. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:55.949
6. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:56.014
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:56.186
8. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:56.477
9. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:56.825
10. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:56.979
11. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:57.455
12. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:58.392
13. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:58.378
14. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:58.812
15. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:58.953
16. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:58.983
17. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:59.057
18. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:59.062
19. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:59.128
20. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 2:00.522
21. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 2:00.584
22. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 2:00.653
23. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 2:00.792
24. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 2:00.827
25. Martin Bauer (AUT) Suter/BMW 2:01.135