The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team celebrated one of its best double finishes of the season at the Motorland Aragon track this afternoon, with Cal Crutchlow racing to sixth spot and teammate Bradley Smith finishing in a fantastic seventh position.
Crutchlow was one of the main protagonists in the most enthralling battle of a dramatic 23-lap race, as the British rider fought superbly for third position with Valentino Rossi, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl throughout.
Crutchlow’s sixth position saw him pick up 10 more precious World Championship points that keep him firmly in control of fifth place in the rankings and on course to end 2013 as the leading non-factory rider. Today’s race, which took place in the coolest conditions of the weekend, saw rookie Smith deliver one of his most impressive performances of the season.
Taking full advantage of improved braking performance after tweaking his riding style earlier this weekend, Smith finished in a terrific seventh position. The highlight of his race was his excellent charge away from experienced rival Andrea Dovizioso after passing the Italian on lap three.
The 22-year-old maintained a consistent pace throughout the race and one pleasing aspect of his performance today was he managed to finish just over 30 seconds behind eventual winner Marc Marquez. That improvement on recent races bodes well for the final races of the campaign, which includes three back-to-back flyaway races in Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
Cal Crutchlow (6th – 156 points): "I am not unsatisfied with a top 6 result this weekend, I just think we are far from where we should be and that is clearly because we are lacking speed. We lose more than 10km/h every single lap on the straight and in acceleration and that is not good for us, we honestly don’t know why also because we used a new engine since this morning and I really don’t need to find excuses because you could clearly see it on TV how much I was struggling.
In any case we can still take quite a few positives out of this weekend, we had two days of track time less than the others and we don’t have the seamless gearbox but we were still able to finish just 1,5 seconds behind Valentino, so we have not done a bad job. Now I am looking forward to the overseas and I am confident we can still fight for the podium this season."
Bradley Smith (7th – 80 points): "The positive point of today is that we scored our best result since Sachsenring and altogether it was good to stay in front of the Ducatis and especially to pull away from them at the end of the race was a nice feeling. I still believe that we have some more potential to improve our race setting .
This will surely be our main aim for the flyaway races and I have no doubt that we will progress is this area. But all in all I can’t be unsatisfied with this weekend, especially considering how tough Friday was, when things did not really go according to plan, so to travel to Malaysia with a 7th position in my luggage is not too bad."