May 5, 2018 / 1:36 PM / in 6 months

Crutchlow blasts to Spanish GP pole

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - Britain’s Cal Crutchlow put in a sizzling lap to beat the local MotoGP favourites and seize pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.

Motorcycle Racing - Argentina Motorcycle Grand Prix - MotoGP race - Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina - April 8, 2018 - LCR Honda Castrol rider Cal Crutchlow of Britain competes. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

The non-works LCR Honda rider, who switched bikes during the session, lapped with a circuit record time of one minute 37.653 seconds on a sunny afternoon at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.

Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, last year’s winner from pole in Jerez, was the top Spaniard in second place, 0.259 seconds slower, while Tech3 Yamaha’s French rider Johann Zarco completed the front row.

Reigning champion Marc Marquez qualified fifth for Honda, behind compatriot Jorge Lorenzo, whose Italian Ducati team mate and championship leader Andrea Dovizioso, a point ahead of Marquez, was eighth.

“It’s nice to get a pole, sure,” Crutchlow said. “But we’re here to race and the key point is tomorrow.

“I had a bad qualifying in Texas and Argentina so it’s nice to make up for one and get a front row for my team and Honda in Jerez,” he said, adding that the conditions were not the best for his bike.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond

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