Crutchlow On The Pace at Donington Park

Rizla Suzuki's Cal Crutchlow set the third fastest time in the dry morning practice before the rain fell in the afternoon at the 12th round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park in Derbyshire.

He was just 2/10ths of a second behind the fastest rider in the morning and while the second session started dry the rain started to fall with just under half-an-hour remaining, scuppering his chances to improve. He was seventh fastest in the weather interrupted afternoon practice.

'I'm very happy with my pace in the dry," explained Cal. "I started with my Rizla Suzuki set up exactly as I left it at Cadwell Park and tried a couple of tyres this morning. It was extremely windy so I had to be careful. In the afternoon I started on a used tyre with softer suspension and it was comfortable but never had a chance to try fresh rubber and go for a lap time before the rain fell.'Team mate Chris 'Stalker' Walker finished eighth in the morning session and had sliced 8/10ths off his morning lap time and was lying 10th in the afternoon when the heavens opened.

Stalker said: "We have been testing the 2008 specification clutch and although we have only had around an hour of track time, it is showing loads of promise. It has a slightly more user friendly slipper action that I like and will help me to improve my times quickly. It was a shame it rained this afternoon as progress was on the cards."

On combined times between both sessions, Crutchlow ended the day fifth and Stalker 9th. Ducati's Leon Haslam was fastest.

Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: "Cal is bang on the pace and looking comfortable at the same time so we have high hopes for him through the weekend. As the season is progressing he is getting stronger and stronger.

'Chris has made progress between sessions and we know from the test we conducted earlier in the year there is a lot more to come. I'm confident he'll be competing for the first two rows tomorrow.'
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