Andrea Dovizioso said his second podium finish of the season felt like a victory after his third place in the Dutch TT at Assen. The Italian won a race-long battle with Ben Spies to take the final place on the rostrum and believed his tyre-friendly set-up was crucial to the success.
“Scoring a podium for us feels like a victory and today is another great day for me and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. This podium is great because I have never had a very good feeling at this track but with the Yamaha YZR-M1 I felt much more comfortable. I was only seventh on the grid but I knew all weekend my race pace was very fast and I always felt a podium was a realistic goal. I got a good start and it was a beautiful battle with Spies for the whole race. It was a really strong battle and the pace was very high and when I passed Spies for the first time I tried not to abuse the tyres too much because I knew the first two were already too far ahead. I dropped my pace and it really paid off because at the end of the race I was much stronger than him and it seems he apparently had some issue with the rear tyre. I want to say a huge thanks to my crew because once again they have done a fantastic job. We work a lot to be competitive for the race and this strategy is really paying off because in the last four races now I have been fighting for the podium.”
“I also want to thank Yamaha for the great support they are offering us. Now I’m really looking forward to the next two races, particularly my home race at Mugello, because after fighting for the podium consistently I am confident that I will be able to repeat this performance another time.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Cal Crutchlow could've also challenged for a top three place but his race was heavily compromised by the turn one crash involving Alvaro Bautista and Jorge Lorenzo. The Briton fell back to thirteenth but fought his way back up to fifth, keeping him ahead of Dovizioso in the championship.
“Once again I am contemplating what might have been because without the incident at the first corner I had the pace to be on the podium today. I was actually quite lucky to avoid being collected by Alvaro and Jorge but I still had to run off track and I was last. I’m glad Jorge was not hurt because the job he has done for Yamaha this season has been incredible and he didn’t deserve that today. Alvaro was way too fast and I know he didn’t do that intentionally but you have to be sensible when braking from high-speed for a tight first corner like that. Like in Silverstone I was right at the back but just decided to get my head down and recover as many places as possible. I had a really good battle with the Ducatis but I had a faster pace, although I had one big moment when I lost the front on lap eight and had to do all the hard work again. To be at the back and still come through to fifth is a fantastic result. But there is no doubt I should have been in the battle with Andrea and Ben. With my ankle still causing me a lot of pain and coming from last to fifth, I can’t be too disappointed and I leave here still fourth in the World Championship and that is very important.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal celebrated another successful afternoon for the satellite Yamaha outfit and is certain Crutchlow will soon get the reward for his superb performances.
“We have mixed emotions after that race. On one side we are ecstatic because Andrea is back on the podium again and he rode a fantastic race. His pace was impressive throughout and he definitely deserved to be on the podium. It is not an easy job to fight against the factory bikes in MotoGP and the way he chased down Ben in the last four laps was very exciting. We were just hoping that he had enough time left to pass Ben and his timing was perfect to get third on the last lap. Andrea saved his tyres well and he is really showing his class at the moment. With a bit more luck he might have been on the podium in the last four races, so I am really pleased with the job Andrea is doing for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”
“We are a little bit disappointed though for Cal, even though he rode another phenomenal race. He showed again he had the pace for the podium but he had to run off track at the first corner to avoid the incident with Jorge and Alvaro. It is a shame because I have no doubt he would have been in the battle with Andrea and Ben. But he never gives up and that is a great quality of his. He was last like in Silverstone but fought incredibly hard to get back into the top six and he deserves a lot of credit. I am sure it is not going to be long before Cal gets his first podium but to have both of our riders back in the top five is a great achievement.”
“After seven races we are third just 35-points behind the official Yamaha Factory Team in the Team World Championship. That confirms the incredible support we get from Yamaha but also the wonderful job Andrea and Cal are doing.”