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The Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana saw the Ducati Team take their best joint result of 2014 with Andrea Dovizioso fourth and Cal Crutchlow fifth.
The factory pair both made a strong start to the race, battling with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in the early stages. Brief spells of rain allowed the duo to push hard to overcome the difficult situation as other riders fell back.
The pair became locked in a battle against each other, reminiscent of their Tech 3 days, as Lorenzo pitted for wet tyres. Crutchlow sat behind Dovizioso for much of the race, looking for a way past the Italian. With a handful of laps remaining the English rider pushed in front of Dovizioso.
Their battle lasted to the line with Dovizioso claiming fourth, just 0.068s ahead of Crutchlow. Ducati have taken huge strides this season, regularly challenging for the top five.
In his last race with the team Sunday’s result marks Crutchlow’s first finish since his podium at Aragon, despite being in rostrum contention in Australia.
Dovizioso finished the 2014 season in fifth overall and Crutchlow looks ahead to joining the CWM LCR Honda team next year.
Dovizioso said, “I am very happy with this fourth place because it confirms that this weekend we worked well, as I said yesterday despite a rather disappointing qualifying session. I am satisfied with the way I administered the race, because if you start from the third row here at Valencia it’s very complicated to make up positions. It was difficult because with the rain you can never feel the limit and so it depends on how much you want to risk.”
He continued, “I gave the maximum I could give, even though maybe I could have risked a bit more when it began to rain, but that’s OK. I want to thank all my team, because we have worked well together throughout the entire season. With Cal the battle was really nice and aggressive, but clean as always, and so I really enjoyed it. Now I feel a bit sorry that Cal is leaving our team!”
Crutchlow responded positively, “I think it’s been a fitting end to the year to finish, with Andrea and me together in fourth and fifth, we did a good job. I believe I should have pushed a little bit more in the tricky conditions created by the rain, but we could also have been strong for this result in the full dry conditions. I was pleased for the weekend, I felt my race pace was good and we made a good race with Andrea so I’m happy with the final race of the season. Obviously a big thanks to Ducati and all the guys in the team, they did a great job and it’ll be sad to leave. Good luck to them all in the future.”
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