Cal Crutchlow says he was close to abandoning the lap which put on him provisional pole and eventually gave him a front row slot for MotoGP's Portuguese race at Estoril.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider sprang a huge shock as he moved to the top of the timesheets in the final five minutes of qualifying, moments after Casey Stoner looked like he had secured the position. Although Crutchlow was eventually bumped down to third by the two works Hondas, he was able to beat Jorge Lorenzo and finish as the top Yamaha rider for the first time in 2012.
Crutchlow has now qualified on the front row twice in three MotoGP races so far this year, taking fourth on the grid for the remaining race, and says claiming a maiden MotoGP podium will be the goal in Sunday's race.
"I was just trying to go faster and do my best," Crutchlow said of the run which sent him top. "I knew I had made two big mistakes in the first two sectors though, so I was actually going to scrap the lap. I'm really pleased. We were just trying to make time in the last sector, which is where we were all struggling compared to Jorge.
"It's nice to be the top Yamaha, as we've been working very hard. We're coming closer to the podium at every race as well, but Jorge will be there in the race so it will be very difficult."