Dovizioso crashes and has to retire from fourth
Cal Crutchlow today scored his first podium of the season in the GP of Aragón, round 14 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The Ducati Team’s British rider took the chequered flag in third place, just a fraction behind runner-up Aleix Espargarò, in the pouring rain.
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was not so fortunate, the Italian crashing out on lap 19 when rain started to fall heavily at the MotorLand circuit. At the time Dovi was lying in fourth place behind Pedrosa, Marquez and Lorenzo.
Obviously we got very lucky with the conditions, but it was the same for everyone so I don’t really care!
The GP of Aragon produced a number of surprises due to the rain, which began to fall half-way through the 23-lap race, first lightly then increasing in intensity during the final stages.
Crutchlow, who started from row 2, concluded the first lap in eighth place and was then involved in a scrap with A. Espargaro and Bautista. The Coventry man decided to pit to change bikes on lap 18, and he moved up to third. On the final lap Cal managed to catch Aleix Espargarò and tried to pass him coming out of the final curve, but he flashed across the line just 17/1000ths of a second away from the Spanish rider, finishing the race in third place.
Dovizioso, who started from row 3 of the grid, moved into fourth on lap 8 after a scrap with Pol Espargaro. Despite the falling rain, the Italian stayed out on the track and was able to make up ground on the three Spanish riders ahead of him, but on lap 19 he lost control of his Desmosedici GP14 at turn 9 in a highside and had to retire.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 3rd: “Obviously we got very lucky with the conditions, but it was the same for everyone so I don’t really care! I am pleased with the work that the guys have done, we are in better shape than what we were, even in the dry. A great job by Ducati, they haven’t given up with me and I haven’t given up with them and I think that shows week in and week out, even when the results haven’t been good. I got a wheelie coming out of the last corner because I hit the white paint, and I probably would have got Aleix on the line for second if I had been able to change gear in time!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – DNF: “Everything was going well while the track stayed dry and I was in fourth place. When it began to rain I started to make up ground on the leaders. Unfortunately I made a mistake at turn 9: it was difficult to see where the track was wet and I lost the rear of my GP14 in a high-side. It’s a pity, because I was close to Lorenzo and at the end of that lap I was going to come in and switch bikes. I even think I could have fought it out for the win with him, seeing the way things turned out. It was a situation we should have taken advantage of because today a lot of riders made mistakes. Luckily I only bruised my buttock, not my pelvis: it hurts a bit but it’s nothing serious.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager): “We are really happy with Cal’s podium, because up to now he’s had a difficult season despite his and the entire team’s commitment. He really deserved that result! It’s a pity about Andrea’s crash, he was running a good race and could probably have got a podium as well. For us this Aragón weekend was important mainly because it confirmed that our bike is becoming more and more competitive. In every session the GP14 was always up amongst the top positions, and this gives us confidence that our work is going in the right direction.”