Cal Crutchlow described yesterday's Qatar Grand Prix as the best of his career after beating teammate Andrea Dovizioso to fourth place. The Briton equalled the result he achieved in Valencia last October but after achieving this result on pure pace, Crutchlow was delighted and can't wait to get back out in Spain three weeks from now.
“That was a great way to start the season but it was a really tough race. I didn’t make a great start and lost a few positions and that is a bit disappointing because I’m sure I could have been much closer to the top three. I wouldn’t have been fighting with them but I lost a bit of time and the gap to them could have been halved. It was a great battle with Andrea and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot as well because he has a lot of experience and it was a game of cat and mouse for a long time. I knew I could pass him but I also knew that he would be able to sit right on my tail, so I just waited for the right moment and made a good move on Andrea. After that I just got my head down and concentrated on being consistent and not making a mistake so I didn’t give him a chance to pass me back.”
“The good thing about tonight is I backed up all the good performances in winter testing and being close to the front with my best MotoGP race. I know I was fourth in Valencia last season but the conditions were tricky and not everybody finished. This was a true result and I am delighted too for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. They have given me amazing support and this result gives us all a lot of confidence to take to Jerez.”
Dovizioso finished right behind in fifth in his first race for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 but the Italian was disappointed with the result having led his teammate for so long.
“Fifth place is not a bad result but I can’t be happy. I think it is mainly down to my lack of experience of racing the Yamaha and tonight I learned a lot that will make us stronger for the next race in Jerez. I really wanted to do a great job but I couldn’t for a few reasons. On one hand I have still not fully mastered the Yamaha and on the other hand I think I didn’t get the best set-up with the chassis or the electronics and I’m sure I could have got a much better result. I lost quite a bit of time passing Spies and that meant I could not even try and push to be with the leading group. It was a pity also that I couldn’t keep fourth from Cal but I didn’t feel confident in the final part of the race. Take nothing away from him though because he did a very good job.”
“I will try to use this experience in a positive way because my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a great job to help me to understand the bike as fast as possible and I am sure we will be stronger in Jerez.”
All in all, it was a fantastic team result for Tech 3 and team manager Herve Poncharal hopes they can carry the momentum into the European season.
“That was a fantastic way for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team to start the 2012 season and Cal and Andrea both did a fantastic job. To watch them both fighting so hard together for the whole race meant I was quite nervous and there was never more than three-tenths between them. I have to congratulate both of them because they treated each other with a lot of respect and neither of them even looked like making a mistake that could have changed the outcome for the Team. To see Cal and Andrea in fourth and fifth is a result I would have signed for before the start of the race and this gives everybody a big boost for the next few races.”
“Both of them tonight were able to show the potential of the Yamaha YZR-M1 1000cc machine and I want to congratulate Yamaha’s technical staff. All through the winter we have been confident the new M1 is very competitive but tonight really proved that. Jorge once again did an incredible job and with Cal and Andrea both in the top five, it was an excellent way to start the season for Yamaha. All of us in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team will fly home happy and that is a great reward for all of their hard work.”