Crutchlow breaks lap record in Jerez qualifying

Cal Crutchlow pic: MotoGP.com

Cal Crutchlow has broken the outright lap record at Jerez to secure pole position for the Spanish MotoGP while Marc Marquez missed the front row.

The LCR rider finished a quarter of a second faster than fellow Honda pilot Dani Pedrosa with Johann Zarco also on the front row.

Crutchlow went for three runs on bike #35, the first of which left him only fifth.

However, he switched to a second bike with brand new hard front and soft rear tyres for a second run, during which he set a new pole record of 1:37.752s.

The Brit was not done, coming out to break the outright lap record which Marquez had set earlier in Free Practice 3 with a 1:37.653s after the chequered flag.

He needn’t have worried as Pedrosa, who moved the #26 Repsol Honda into second position during the 13th minute, could go no faster.

Cal Crutchlow pic: MotoGP.com

“First of all, my team’s done a great job all weekend,” said Crutchlow.

“We seem to have bounced back after Texas in a good way, I’ve been competitive in most sessions now, and the bike feels good, so we have to give credit to the team and not just me for taking the record here today.

“I think you can see the difference in the bikes between the factory team and my bike but we’re honestly pleased with what we have, I enjoy riding my bike at the moment which is really nice, and I look forward to a strong race tomorrow.

“We’re confident to be aiming for the podium tomorrow and I’ll fight tomorrow.”

Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha) did improve in the final minute of the quarter-hour stanza, an effort which bumped Marquez off the front row.

Jorge Lorenzo moved into fourth after the chequered flag, putting the #99 factory Ducati on the inside of Row 2 alongside Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Alex RIns (Suzuki Ecstar).

Marquez had remained fast through the first and second sectors but couldn’t achieve a full lap which would put him back in front of Crutchlow.

Row 3 will be Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati).

On Row 4 is Movistar Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, alongside Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati).

Dovizioso and Viñales had to come through Qualifying 1, the latter surviving a big scare when Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia) missed the cut by just 0.040s after the chequered flag.

Newly re-signed Red Bull KTM rider Pol Espargaro was the first of the Austrian bikes in 16th, three positions ahead of wildcard team-mate Mika Kallio on a 2019 test mule.

Race 4 of the season will be run over the new, shorter distance of 25 laps from 2200 AEST on Sunday.

Qualifying: Spanish MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:37.653
2 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:37.912 0.259 / 0.259
3 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:37.956 0.303 / 0.044
4 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Ducati Team Ducati 1:37.969 0.316 / 0.013
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:37.977 0.324 / 0.008
6 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:37.984 0.331 / 0.007
7 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:37.987 0.334 / 0.003
8 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:38.029 0.376 / 0.042
9 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.086 0.433 / 0.057
10 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:38.267 0.614 / 0.181
11 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:38.281 0.628 / 0.014
12 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.522 0.869 / 0.241
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:38.389 Q1 / Q1
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:38.481 Q1 / 0.092
15 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:38.544 Q1 / 0.063
16 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:38.598 Q1 / 0.054
17 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:38.610 Q1 / 0.012
18 12 Thomas LUTHI SUI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:38.752 Q1 / 0.142
19 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:38.759 Q1 / 0.007
20 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:38.838 Q1 / 0.079
21 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:38.961 Q1 / 0.123
22 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1:39.135 Q1 / 0.174
23 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:39.146 Q1 / 0.011
24 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:39.708 Q1 / 0.562
25 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.918 Q1 / 0.210

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