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Crutchlow fourth after podium challenge in Jerez

Crutchlow fourth after podium challenge in Jerez

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow produced the best performance of his MotoGP career in an enthralling Spanish Grand Prix today to finish fourth after an epic podium battle with Circuito de Jerez specialist Dani Pedrosa.

The British rider finished fourth for the third MotoGP race in succession having been in podium contention right from the start of a 27-lap race that started under grey skies that threatened rain and finished in arguably the best conditions of a weather disrupted weekend.

Having had only one dry session all weekend, Crutchlow's decision to race with the hard compound front Bridgestone tyre was fully vindicated and his fantastic surge towards the top three began with 19 laps remaining when he passed Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden in quick succession.

The 26-year-old then embarked on a relentless pursuit of Pedrosa for the remainder of the race, with Crutchlow exerting immense pressure on the Spanish rider to try and secure his maiden MotoGP rostrum.

At the chequered flag, Crutchlow was just over 0.4s behind Pedrosa and only 2.465s away from race winner and reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. He also set the fastest lap of the race with a 1.40.019 on the 15th lap, which was over 0.3s quicker than factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo's personal best. Andrea Dovizioso also played a major part in an exciting opening half of the race. The Italian rider was right in the heart of the battle for the top three for the opening 10 laps but he was unfortunately unable to sustain his challenge to score his first Yamaha podium.

Cal Crutchlow 4th – 26 points:

"That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium. One of the pleasing aspects is that I don't really like Jerez that much. It's a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic. The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well today and I can't say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew."

Andrea Dovizioso 5th – 22 points:

"It has been a very tricky weekend because I don't particularly like this track and while I am not completely comfortable with the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine it means I struggled quite a lot. What I need more than anything is time in the dry to improve my performance and show what I know I am capable of. I am really happy with my start today and for the first laps of the race I was able to fight in the leading group and this helped collect a lot of information that will help me improve in the future. It was very interesting following Cal because he is still much faster than me entering the corner and I need to adapt my style more to take profit in this area, which is the strong point of the Yamaha. I also made the wrong choice with the front tyre."

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:

"What more can you say about Cal? Considering this was only his third time at Jerez and how much experience Pedrosa has riding here, he did a phenomenal job. When you finish right behind a rider of Pedrosa's calibre in his home race, you know you have delivered an outstanding performance and Cal did that. Andrea didn't have the same exciting race as Cal but I am still happy with his performance. It is clear he needs more time to adjust to the Yamaha, but we know he has the talent and experience to do this, so it is only going to be a matter of time before he is battling for the podium."

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2012, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPANA, RAC, Andrea Dovizioso, Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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