Cal Crutchlow's wait for a first podium finish in MotoGP goes on after a late error left him down in eighth at the Sachsenring on Sunday. The Briton was part of a fight for fourth with Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies which would become third after Casey Stoner's retirement, but Crutchlow ran off track five laps from the end, an error which he took full responsibility for.
“I’m pretty disappointed to be honest and I think we definitely deserved better. My mistake was not passing Andrea earlier because I had the pace to be with Lorenzo. I was just waiting behind Andrea for the last five laps to size up an attack but unfortunately I ran off at the first corner. It was my mistake but I got back on track and was just as fast and recovered a couple of places, so it wasn’t too bad in the end. I’m not sure why but Andrea’s bike seemed to accelerate better than mine and he had more speed on the straight. I would catch him in the corners but lose a couple of tenths on the straight. I’m sure I could have been fourth because the podium would have been a gift. I wouldn’t have wanted my first podium in MotoGP to come just because another rider crashed out. Once again though I have showed what I am capable of. Last year here was a disaster and I was 14th, but today I was fighting two seriously fast riders and I had the pace to beat them. I got the third fastest lap of the race too so we definitely have the speed to battling in the top five at every race.”
Instead, Dovizioso would luck into the final podium position but the Italian still had to work hard to fend off Spies and praised the team for their part in his third rostrum of the season.
“I am really happy to finish on the podium again and it is a great feeling to do it here because this track has never been the best for me. It was the same in Assen last week, so to be on the podium there and also here at the Sachsenring shows the fantastic job that we are all doing in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Of course we have to consider ourselves a little bit fortunate today to finish third because of Casey’s crash. But it proved how crucial it was for me to remain at the front of the battle with Cal and Ben for the whole race. If I had let them overtake me then perhaps I would not have been third. I am happy because I rode an intelligent race today. I never pushed completely at the limit, especially during the first laps, as I knew from the past that I would probably pay for that tactic at the end of the race. My focus was to be consistent and I managed that and that was the key to this result. I was only six seconds behind Lorenzo and that is good because he is the benchmark at Yamaha and that means I was only 0.2s per lap slower than him. We can still improve but my feeling with the Yamaha is fantastic and I am really happy with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Now I go to my home race in Mugello with a lot of confidence and the goal will be to battle for the podium again.”