Cal Crutchlow produced another outstanding performance this afternoon to claim a career best sixth position on the grid for the French MotoGP race at Le Mans.
The 25-year-old, who has been a revelation since his switch from World Superbikes, clocked a best time of 1.33.804 to finish just 0.098s behind reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider was faster than team-mate Colin Edwards and also outpaced factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies to finish less than 0.2s away from a stunning front row start for tomorrow’s 28-lap race. And for the fourth race in succession, Crutchlow will start higher up the grid than nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi.
The 2009 World Supersport champion said: "I knew I had the raw speed to come into MotoGP and be fast, but to get a top six on the grid in just my fourth race is a brilliant achievement. At one point in the session I was only 15th and I was starting to get a bit worried because we spent a lot of time on the hard tyre."
"I couldn’t get it to work and I did a faster lap on a softer tyre that had done 30-laps. To be honest, the bike has been quite difficult to ride this weekend. We've had to change the wheelbase setting from the Estoril test but it still feels a little bit unstable. To qualify sixth on a circuit I've never seen before is great but my expectation will still to be in the top ten. And that's going to be difficult when you look at how close the times are. I'll be giving it my all as always and I’ll be going all out tomorrow to get a good result."