LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow made an impressive start as free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano got underway on Friday. The Briton – who is carrying the sponsorship of Italian tool designer and manufacturer BETA Utensili this weekend – finished the day in third spot on the timesheets as the weather held off to allow two dry sessions at the Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Crutchlow was on the pace throughout and served notice of his speed by going second fastest in FP1. With the forecast of rain threatening the rest of the race weekend, a shoot-out developed at the end of FP2 as riders jostled for qualifying positions. Crutchlow produced a fine effort to clinch third spot ahead of championship leader and fellow Honda factory rider Marc Marquez (fifth), with the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo first and second.

#35 Cal Crutchlow (3rd – 1’32.385)

“Because FP1, FP2 and FP3 counts towards qualification of Q1 or Q2, it can make it very difficult to work on rhythm and the stuff that’s important for the race. In the sessions, everybody is throwing different tyres at different opportunities, but we just have to go with the rules”.

“But overall I feel good on the bike, our team is working very well and we have a good shot to be competitive here. The only problem at the moment is that we have a bit of front-locking with the front tyre, so we need to address that situation and improve. But overall we’re confident and happy in our garage.”