Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow stormed back into the top six today at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli to remain firmly on course to be the leading non-factory rider in 2013.
Crutchlow bounced back from a tough home race at Silverstone earlier this month in typically determined fashion, the British rider brilliantly leading Stefan Bradl in fifth position for the majority of a race that took place in cloudy and windy conditions.
A faultless performance from Crutchlow seemed certain to be rewarded with a top five result, as he brilliantly defended from a hard charging Bradl right down to the final lap.
The German was not to be outdone though and a calculated move at Turn 8 dropped Crutchlow back to sixth. The British rider was unable to retaliate despite a determined late attack but Crutchlow’s battling performance keeps the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in control of third spot in the all-important Team World Championship standings.
Today’s result, which was a ninth top sixth finish of an impressive 2013, means Crutchlow remains comfortably the highest ranked non-factory rider in the World Championship standings on 146-points.
Smith was less than 0.2s away from continuing his outstanding run of top 10 finishes in his rookie premier class campaign. Locked in a fight for long periods with Andrea Dovizioso, Nicky Hayden and Michele Pirro, Smith almost overhauled the latter with a tremendous last lap attack.
Smith set his best lap of the race on the final lap but just couldn’t find a way to make a clean pass on Pirro and he had to settle for 11th. The consolation though was the 22-year-old moved back into 10th place in the World Championship standings having joined Aleix Espargaro on 71-points
Cal Crutchlow (Position 6th - Time +22.599): “It is a shame that I lost fifth place on the last lap but it has been a very difficult weekend and I am happy to come away with this result. The top six is not what I am aiming for right now but I had no confidence with the bike all weekend, and it was important to get a strong finish.
It was a very hard race because Stefan just sat on my back wheel from the first lap to the end and unfortunately he managed to find a way to pass me in the lasts corners. I tried my best to take fifth back but it wasn’t meant to be, but I think the whole of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team showed a lot of fighting qualities this weekend. My crew have never given up and they have worked really hard trying to build up my confidence and I am grateful for their support.”
Bradley Smith (Position 11th - Time +48.011): “The race pretty much panned out as I’d anticipated and I thought I’d stay close and race the Ducatis. I got an amazing start and that gave me a great opportunity to be in a battle but I just didn’t have the pace throughout. I wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped and again it was difficult at the start of the race on a full fuel load.
But we have learned a lot all weekend and particularly in the race and now I am looking forward to tomorrow’s test where we can try a few things to improve our package. Our setting right now is pretty good but I can improve my riding position. I don’t think we are far away but small details can make a big difference when it comes to the race.”
Hervé Poncharal - Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager: “We knew this weekend would be tough after such a difficult experience for both Cal and Bradley in Silverstone. Sixth place is not what we are looking for or what is the real potential of Cal. But he showed the whole race that he is a true fighter and it was unfortunate that Stefan was able to pass him right at the end.
In the end it was a strong race and I want to thank Cal because he never gave up and as always he gave all he had, even though he has not been confident on the bike all weekend.
Bradley had a tough weekend too. We knew Ducati would be strong here like always because they test on this track frequently and Bradley did a very good job. He set his fastest lap on the last lap and that shows there is still room for improvement but the whole team has demonstrated a lot of fighting spirit this weekend and I am proud of everybody involved.
Finally I must pass on my congratulations to Jorge and Yamaha. Jorge was exceptional and he showed that this World Championship is not over yet. And I am also delighted to see the new YZR-M1 seamless shift gearbox make a winning debut, which bodes well for the future.”