Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow sampled Q1 for the first time on Saturday at the GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini, making it through to Q2 to qualify fifth.
Having struggled for pace in free practice the Englishman kept cool in Q1 and made it through to the later 15 minute qualifying session with a best time of 1’34.694.
Still searching for the optimum set-up with his YZR-M1, Crutchlow dug deep in QP2 to shave another 0.6s off his best pace – claiming a place in the middle of the second row for Sunday’s Misano race.
Crutchlow’s Q2 improvement ensured that at 13 rounds of the season he has not yet finished lower than fifth position in qualifying.
“It has not been an easy weekend at all and having to go into Q1 for the first time this season was proof of that,” said Crutchlow on Saturday afternoon. “Considering how difficult it has been I am really pleased to be starting on the second row of the grid. This afternoon was much better and as I always do, I managed to pull something out of the bag in qualifying.”
He added “I am always strong in this situation but I really had to be today to get myself out of trouble. We still need to find something else for the race because the gap to the front is pretty big. I am definitely trying my hardest but I have lost some confidence on the bike since the middle of the season and now I have to improve to go faster.”