Andrea Dovizioso put in a tremendous ride to claim his first podium for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 at Catalunya. The Italian, riding in just his fifth race for the satellite Yamaha squad, kept up with the leaders in the first half of the race before holding off Casey Stoner in the latter stages and admitted the result came as a welcome surprise.
“I am really happy to get my first podium for Yamaha and this is a fantastic reward for all the effort my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew has put in since I came to this Team. We have been building up to this result for a while now, but it is great to be battling at the front in MotoGP on a satellite machine and I’m sure nobody expected us to be doing this so early. It was a very hard race because there wasn’t a lot of grip but I am really happy because I was able to fight very close to Pedrosa and Lorenzo, who are so strong on this track. I was only losing one or two tenths and this is very positive. Maybe I could have stayed with them and fought for the win but I made a small mistake and that cost me a lot of time. I found my pace again but in the final laps Casey and Cal caught me, but I was determined to finish on the podium. I could hear Casey’s bike and knew he was looking to attack, but I tried to give my maximum while not making a mistake and to finish third is great for the whole Team. Now we can go to Silverstone with a lot of confidence.”
Teammate Cal Crutchlow missed out on the rostrum, finishing on the tail of Stoner in fifth, and felt the Repsol Honda had held him up during the race. The Briton was pleased with the performance of the YZR-M1 over the weekend and feels optimistic ahead of his homecoming at Silverstone two weeks from now.
“I’d have liked to have battled for the podium at the end and I think if I could have passed Casey I could have gone with Andrea. I was strong in some parts of the track and Casey in others, so each time I’d close up, he would be able to pull away and manage the gap. I couldn’t do anything else to get by him but he’s not the World Champion for nothing. He rode brilliantly and I’ve got to be happy to be so close to him on a track I’ve only raced on twice now. I struggled for a bit of rear grip at the end and that cost me a bit of time but I qualified on the front row and finished in the top five, so there are so many positives to take away from this weekend. Now I’m really looking forward to my home race at Silverstone where I hope to be battling for the podium again in front of my own fans.”