Cal Crutchlow could not contain his delight at his podium finish in Mugello on Sunday, although he admitted that he felt a little hollow at being “handed” the top three finish as a result of Marc Marquez’s accident.
Crutchlow, who finished second in Le Mans last time out, picked up a third place finish after another strong showing at Mugello – putting him fourth in the championship standings, just six points behind Marquez.
With Marquez and Pedrosa battling out for second place up ahead, Crutchlow demonstrated his pace to cut the gap on the Honda riders, allowing him to capitalise on Marquez’s crash with just three laps remaining.
And the result pleased the Tech 3 Yamaha rider, who continues to impress on the satellite bike.
“I am really happy to be back on the podium because Mugello is one of the blue riband races on the calendar and that makes it feel a bit more special,” he claimed.
“It is an awesome result and I have to pay a big tribute to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew who did an incredible job this weekend. I’ve not felt comfortable on the bike but today they gave me a package that was really competitive.
“In the second half of the race I was really strong and consistent and I could see for the last 10 laps I had the pace that was bringing me closer to Dani and Marc. I was in a really fast and consistent rhythm but I hate to be gifted a podium like that. I’m sorry Marc crashed because he was doing an amazing job again but to be honest I felt I could have caught Dani and taken third anyway. When I saw Marc crash I slowed down to not risk losing a second podium in a row, which is a fantastic achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and me.
“I’m fourth in the Championship, top non-factory rider again, so it has been another great way to finish the weekend and continue our very strong start to the season.”