Cal Cruthclow finished the opening day of free practice for Australian Grand Prix as the fastest Honda rider at the legendary Phillip Island circuit. As conditions dried out following a wet start in Victoria, the LCR Honda CASTROL rider pushed himself up into third position by the end of a busy day for the MotoGP field.

After a wet FP1 session in which he was 14th fastest, the riders also took part in an afternoon tyre testing session for Michelin. But it was in FP2 that Crutchlow did his best work as he posted the third quickest lap – ahead of world champion Marc Marquez – to leave himself well-placed ahead of qualifying on Saturday which is forecast to be hit by further rain.

#35 Cal Crutchlow (3rd – 1’29.325)

“I feel ok, I don’t feel fantastic on the bike at the moment. At turn one I’m a little bit scared going in there sometimes, but today I did my fastest top speed going in there in that last session we just did, I think the fastest speed I’ve ever done, 343 kmph, so I can’t have been too scared! But overall, we’re happy enough with the day, I need to improve in some areas and we need to improve the bike. But that extra session we got there (Michelin tyre test) was quite helpful as it meant we got two dry sessions. But with the weather predicted for tomorrow it’s not great as I don’t feel very good with the bike in the rain at the moment, so let’s see if we can improve that feeling tomorrow and hopefully the race is dry on Sunday.”