Crutchlow pleased to be "the best of the rest" after Qatar.

Crutchlow made a promising start to the season

Photo: Tech3

After fighting for the podium for much of the first race of the 2013 MotoGP season, in Qatar, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow has said he is ‘a little bit frustrated’ with his fifth place, where only the factory Yamaha’s and Honda’s finished ahead of him.

Crutchlow’s third season in the premier class began with him placing his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha on the front row of the grid, after an intense qualifying session, the first of which following the new format. After his Yamaha team mate, Jorge Lorenzo flew off into the wind from the beginning of the Grand Prix, Crutchlow was left to battle for second with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. Shortly after the trio became a quartet, as that ‘other’ Yamaha rider, Valentino Rossi reeled them in, Crutchlow made a mistake braking from 210mph heading into the first corner, relegating him to a lonely 5th for the remainder of the race.

Despite the obvious disappointment of not being on the podium, Crutchlow had little to feel down about as he was the first non-factory bike and gave the alien’s a good run for their money. “It’s positive to finally kick of the Championship after a long winter, but to be honest after the way I had been performing in practice and qualifying, finishing fifth is a little bit frustrating. My pace was promising and I think I would have deserved to be on the podium, but it was clear to see that I was lacking a bit of speed on the straight. That meant I had to push hard to close the gap in the corners and if we can resolve that small issue I’ve no doubt I can have the possibility to really challenge the guys at the front. It was a good battle with Dani and Marc but I just get close enough to them to try and make a pass, but credit to Valentino because I was over three seconds clear of him and he caught and passed me. He rode awesome but so did Jorge, who proved yet again that he is going to be the man to beat. It was a great nig ht for Yamaha but also for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because I showed that I can battle for the podium. The top four are the best riders on the best bikes but I pushed them as hard as I could until the small mistake stopped me. I’m best of the rest and that’s pleasing and hopefully I can be up there again in Austin.”

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