Dovizioso and Crutchlow fall in Malaysian monsoon

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow both fell out of contention while challenging for the top five in monsoon conditions at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia this afternoon.

The 20-lap race started in treacherous conditions, but Dovizioso and Crutchlow quickly calculated how hard they could attack the rain-soaked Sepang track, despite having no previous wet time on track this weekend. Italian Dovizioso immediately put himself in contention for a seventh podium finish of the season and he was in hot pursuit of reigning World Champion Casey Stoner. But with the rain getting heavier and track conditions worsening by the second, he crashed out of fourth position on lap 10.

Dovizioso was able to remount his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine and re-join the action in 14th position. The race was then red flagged on lap 13 with Race Direction halting proceedings as standing water began to appear in sections of the track. With seven laps still to be completed, a scheduled restart was later abandoned with the conditions showing no sign of improving and full World Championship points were awarded, with Dovizioso picking up three points for 13th.

British rider Crutchlow was also having a very strong race after a cautious start. The 26-year-old expertly judged where he could push without too many risks to climb from 10th to fifth. He had just passed Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl when he fell out of contention at the final corner on lap 11. The spill cost Crutchlow more precious points in his quest to finish fifth in the World Championship rankings but he is confident he can return to the podium battle in next weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

Andrea Dovizioso 13th

“It's a real pity that the rain came this afternoon. We did such a good job during the weekend with the bike in the dry and we started strong from the first session, so to find these really bad conditions was unlucky for us today. I was ready for a really hard race in hot weather and I'm sure I would have been fighting for the podium in the dry. We can't change it and I certainly didn't have the same good feeling in the wet. I had a big slide off the start and lost some places but I managed to get into a fast pace quite quickly. It is very difficult to start a race in the rain with no other time on track in the wet all weekend. I was quite fast but I was lacking rear grip. I could brake very strong but I struggled at exit of the corner. I pushed really hard trying to pass Casey and I lost the front without braking while at maximum angle. I still managed to score some points and finish the race but we expected much more and I am determined to bounce back quickly next week in Australia.”

Cal Crutchlow

“It has been a pretty disappointing weekend to be honest and another DNF has really hurt my chances of finishing fifth in the Championship because Valentino and Álvaro were behind me in the race. When I crashed the rain had really started to fall heavily and I was braking upright. I must have hit some standing water but I was down with no chance to save it. We struggled all weekend to find a good set-up in the dry and I had no rear grip. Unfortunately it was the same in the rain and we need to understand why for the future. I had to make up all my time on the brakes and I was pushing and got caught out. Phillip Island is a track I love, so hopefully I can put the disappointment of here and Japan behind me to finish the season strong.”

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

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