The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team heads off on a richly deserved summer break in high spirits after Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow rode to a fantastic double top five finish in this afternoon's US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Dovizioso made one of his trademark blistering launches off the start line to quickly seize fifth place from Crutchlow on the run to the tight first corner.
The Italian then quickly found a fast and consistent rhythm in front of a sun-drenched Californian crowd of 52,677 fans to mount a charge towards Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. Spies needed to call on all his vast home track knowledge to keep Dovizioso at bay. But a crash for the American exiting the spectacular Corkscrew section on lap 22 put Dovizioso into fourth position.
Dovizioso though never had the opportunity to relax, as a determined Crutchlow had remained glued to the back of his YZR-M1 machine right from the first lap.
In what has now become a familiar sight in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, the two Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines were locked in an exciting battle together right until the chequered flag.
British rider Crutchlow couldn't have put in a bigger effort to try and take fourth, but Dovizioso was once again brilliantly calm and collected under pressure. Dovizioso secured his eighth top five finish of the season by just 0.177s and he strengthened his grip on fourth in the overall World Championship standings having moved to 121-points.
Position 4th - Time: +18.602
“It would have been nice to have kept the podium sequence going for a fourth race in a row but we have to be very satisfied with today's result because it was the best we could achieve when you consider the pace the top three have shown all weekend. Ben was doing a fantastic race and credit to him because he wasn't in the best physical condition. It is a big pity that he crashed because at the end of the race I am sure we could have had a really nice battle. It wasn't easy to stay with him and I was pushing really hard but when Ellison crashed there was a lot of sand on the track and I hit it and lost some time. It is a positive result and this busy period in the Championship has been very successful but we have to say the gap to the top three was very big. We head to the summer break confident for the rest of the season and ready to return in Indianapolis refreshed and looking forward to improving our performance.”
Position 5th - Time: +18.779
“I'm pretty happy with another solid finish inside the top five and that is a big improvement on last year where I struggled a lot at this track. All weekend I was inside the top six so to finish fifth and have another strong battle with Andrea is good for the Championship. Credit to Andrea again because he was faultless and it didn't seem to matter how much pressure I put on him, he remained ice cool and didn't put a foot wrong to give me a chance of passing. Any pass would have been a desperate lunge and I certainly wasn't going to risk taking us both out in such an important race for Yamaha and Monster. It was a good battle with Ben for the first 20 laps and I feel sorry for him because it was building up to be a good fight between the three of us at the end. It was bad luck for Ben and I did everything I could without being able to take fourth from Andrea. It has been a great first half to the season for me. I've finished all 10 races and that was the consistency I was looking for. I'm now staying in America for a well earned break before coming back strong and confident for Indianapolis.”
Hervé Poncharal - Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
“This was a very positive result to send the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team into the summer break with a lot of confidence and optimism for the remainder of the season. The last few weeks have been very tough but we have enjoyed the most successful spell in our MotoGP history, so thanks to Andrea and Cal for their hard work. Today was another fantastic battle between the two of them and like we have seen a few times this season, they really gave the fans an impressive show. It is not good for my heart but to see both of them fighting for fourth against such tough competition proves again the tremendous job the whole Team is doing. The first half of the season has been amazing for us and to have Andrea and Cal inside the top five in the rankings is a great achievement. We have received brilliant support from Yamaha and hopefully we can be just as strong in the final part of the Championship.”
Source: Yamaha Racing