MotoGP: Crutchlow on top in Jerez

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Cal Crutchlow has topped the opening day of 2018 MotoGP action in Europe by taking the top spot on the combined times, finishing ahead of his potential rival for a Repsol Honda seat in 2019, Dani Pedrosa.

Crutchlow diced with Pedrosa and third-place finisher Johann Zarco for much of the session, with reigning champion Marc Marquez unable to get in on the action when a late crash in free practice two ended his hopes.

He finished fifth behind Andrea Iannone, with the Suzuki rider the fourth man inside the lap record and only 0.1 from Crutchlow in first. The provisional second row was rounded out by championship leader Andrea Dovizioso.

His teammate Jorge Lorenzo rallied back from a disappointing free practice one to finish seventh ahead of Jack Miller and the factory Yamaha pair of Valentino Rossi and Maverick ViƱales, struggling after not joining the rest of the field to test at Jerez during the pre-season.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer