Crutchlow upbeat despite missing third

Autosport

Cal Crutchlow said his disappointment at missing a second MotoGP podium at Aragon was tempered by the fact that, unlike last year, he was at least in a position to challenge.

The Briton claimed his breakthrough grand prix rostrum at Brno last month, and was in contention to add to his tally throughout this weekend's 23-lap race in Spain.

Ultimately however he missed out, finishing just one tenth of a second down the road from Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, having twice been thwarted in last-lap attempts to pass the Italian.

Crutchlow said he could still take positives from the result, particularly the indication that he will be able to also challenge in future races.

"I'm obviously disappointed not to get a podium, and to be beaten by Dovizioso again," he said.

"But he is a class act, and it's still nice for me, for Dovi and it's good for the team.

"I'm really pleased considering last year here [Crutchlow finished ninth from 12th on the grid]. It's nice to get in the top four again, and to take some points out of [Valentino] Rossi, who was right on my arse [in the championship].

"We were losing a lot of acceleration on the back straight, but we'll come back before the end of the year I'm sure; we'll come back stronger."

Dovizioso meanwhile paid tribute to his battle with Crutchlow, and also the race strategy that allowed him to claim a sixth podium with Tech 3.

"I was happy with the battle - it was an aggressive fight but really clean, and nice to fight with him," he said.

"I knew Cal would try to overtake me in the last two laps, but I wanted to stay in front because I wasn't so fast; I was so slow in a few places.

"I knew Cal [would try] before the back straight but I tried to close the door, he had to brake later so his exit he wasn't so good and I could overtake again.

"Finishing back on the podium is so important because the last few races we couldn't [manage it], and also for the championship."

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