Cal Crutchlow is not expecting to turn his second place on the Qatar Grand Prix grid into a podium finish in Sunday's MotoGP season opener.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider equaled the best qualifying performance of his grand prix career in qualifying at Losail, only missing out on a maiden pole position to world champion Jorge Lorenzo. But despite starting ahead of the second factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi and the works Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, the Briton still thinks he will be shuffled backward during the race.
"I'm not expecting to be on podium," he said. "But if I can get in there and do the best job I can, then I guess there's no reason why I can't be.
"It's such a strong field of riders though; the factory Yamahas and Hondas and even Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati... He did a very good job today and he could get in there too. I'd say there's probably six riders that could be on the podium and three that could win."
Crutchlow has a strong record at Losail. He finished fourth from third on the grid last year and marked his MotoGP debut with an eighth-placed qualifying performance in 2011.