A positive outcome for Crutchlow and Smith

Monday, 3 June 2013

Cal Crutchlow’s third place finish in the Italian Grand Prix made the Coventry rider the first Briton to collect consecutive MotoGP™ podium finishes since Ron Haslam in 1987. In ninth place, rookie teammate Bradley Smith impressed as he was taking part in the race with an injured wrist and finger.

At Le Mans a fortnight earlier, Crutchlow had achieved a career-best second position. His third place at Mugello signalled a fourth career rostrum in MotoGP.

“At the start of the weekend, I thought it would be very, very tough to be on the podium this weekend,” Crutchlow began. “We obviously got it with Marc (Marquez) crashing out, but I was coming strong at the end and felt we could realty challenge for the podium anyway. It’s great to be here in Italy and have a podium at Mugello – it’s what I always wanted to do and a great feeling. The team’s worked great all weekend and I can only thank them because we made a small setting change and we were fast.”

Crutchlow admits that he backed off once Marquez crashed out of second place:

“I was catching them (the Repsol Honda Team bikes) really quickly and I think I could have caught them before the end of the race if I kept pushing, but as soon as Marc crashed I just eased up.”

Teammate Smith was relieved to have taken part in the race, let alone finish inside the top ten, following a heavy crash on Friday which not only damaged his wrist but ground away much of a finger that was trapped underneath the bike. Another fall then came in the Sunday Warm-Up session.

“To be honest, ninth position was obviously a really good result considering the circumstances,” the Oxford rider claimed. “This morning's crash was the last thing I needed, so to be able to go the whole race distance with just one mistake was positive for me. I had a lot of problems with my left hand, as well as with my wrist, and it was magnified with Mugello being such physically demanding track.

“I believe I did a really good job. It would have been good to beat (Aleix) Espargaro at the end but, considering the whole weekend, I should be satisfied with another top ten result. After a very difficult weekend for my body, I just need to rest as much as I can to put me in the best possible condition for Barcelona.”

After five of 18 Grands Prix in 2013, the Tech 3 outfit sits joint third in the Teams’ Championship, matching the 95-point total of Ducati Team.

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