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The fourth round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship will once again start with an Independent Team rider on pole position. After Johann Zarco... Alvaro Bautista optimistic for Jerez raceday

The fourth round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship will once again start with an Independent Team rider on pole position.

After Johann Zarco in Qatar and Jack Miller in Argentina, today it was the turn of Britain’s Cal Crutchlow to seal top spot on the grid at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, with Dani Pedrosa and Zarco set to join him on the front row. Jorge Lorenzo was the top Ducati in qualifying, with his team-mate and current series leader Andrea Dovizioso in eighth.

Ángel Nieto Team rider Álvaro Bautista heads into his first home Grand Prix of the season with improved feeling on his Ducati, the Spaniard explaining that this is the best the GP17 has felt since the start of the season. He will look to continue the upward trend in tomorrow’s race, which he starts from the seventh row of the grid.

20th Álvaro Bautista 1:38.838:
“Today we tried some more changes to the bike to try and improve the front end and the general handling of the bike. We tried without wings for the first time but we didnt see a huge difference, it is a little more agile but there is no gain in traction, so that’s not the step we were looking for. This afternoon we went for a different set-up and the more laps I got in the more I could push. This afternoon we went faster than we have all weekend – it’s not a spectacular lap time but I felt good and hopefully from here we can improve further because the feeling was better than it has been all season. The race will be difficult with the heat and the lack of grip but as far as my pace is concerned I feel confident.”