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MOTOGP NEWS 

Cal Crutchlow says first MotoGP front row start in Qatar proves he has made great progress over winter

Cal Crutchlow, Tech 3 Yamaha, Qatar 2012Cal Crutchlow says his maiden MotoGP front row start in Qatar is a reward for a winter of hard work to address the issues of his rookie campaign in 2011.

The Briton qualified third at Losail on Saturday after also flying in practice.

Last year his best grid slots were sixth places, and Crutchlow said that while part of his improvement was simply down to the 2012 rules package suiting his style better, he had also made concerted efforts to improve in weak areas.

"It's nice to be here. It's been a long time coming," he said of his first appearance on a MotoGP front row.

"I feel it was a tough season last season, riding the 800cc and the [2011] Bridgestone tyre was difficult.

"But the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team have done a great job over the winter, and have also been working a lot with me, making me learn the GP bike a bit more. 1000cc seems good and it's enjoyable.

"I think we've been rewarded for working hard over the off-season."

Crutchlow will share the front row with Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner on Sunday, while his Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso qualified sixth.

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