WithU Yamaha RNF’s Cal Crutchlow is set for a sixth row start on the Phillip Island grid after claiming 17th in Saturday’s qualifying.
Australia’s second day of action brought a bitter sweet free practice three for the British rider as Crutchlow improved on his Friday times by 1.261 seconds before missing out on a direct entry to the afternoon’s Q2 by just 0.062 seconds. While qualifying saw him continue to refine his pace, it was not enough to challenge for the final promotion places, his 1’28.677 best landed him P7 in the Q1 session, and 17th overall ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap race.
“I feel better today than what I did yesterday,” Crutchlow confirmed on Saturday afternoon. “Unfortunately, the wind affected us again today with the instability of the bike. I think all Yamaha riders were struggling when the wind came up in the afternoon session.
“I was again unfortunate not to be able to be fast enough to go through to Q2, but I was pleased with my lap time in qualifying. The problem is, it’s just not fast enough in MotoGP at the moment.
“Everybody is riding really well. I’m positive for a good race tomorrow. I feel better with the bike and I can probably manage the situation a little bit better than the guys around me, so hopefully I will be able to go forward in the race.
“We worked hard as a team overnight. Tomorrow we will try to do our best. All credits to the team for the job we are doing. We’re trying some different things to what Yamaha is trying in the Factory Team just to get some information of how the bike works with a different setting. Let’s see tomorrow if we can be up there.”