Cal Crutchlow secured his second successive podium of 2013 for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team this afternoon at the Italian track of Mugello.
|Cal secured his second podium of 2013
Photo: Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Starting from fourth position on the grid, the Coventry rider fell behind Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso after missing out going through San Donato. However Crutchlow wasn’t resting on his laurels and soon passed his former team-mate in the fourth corner, Materassi to take fourth position. Crutchlow then remained unchallenged for the remainder of the race, slowly bringing down the cap between himself and the battle for second position. Following Marquez’s crash out of second position on lap 21 of 23, Crutchlow to secuered into a podium position following a strong charge from the 27 year old.
Crutchlow’s podium at Mugello makes him the first man to secure back-to-back podiums in the premier class since Ron Haslam in 1987 “I am really happy to be back on the podium because Mugello is one of the blue riband races on the calendar and that makes it feel a bit more special. It is an awesome result and I have to pay a big tribute to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew who did an incredible job this weekend. I’ve not felt comfortable on the bike but today they gave me a package that was really competitive. In the second half of the race I was really strong and consistent and I could see for the last 10 laps I had the pace that was bringing me closer to Dani and Marc. I was in a really fast and consistent rhythm but I hate to be gifted a podium like that. I’m sorry Marc crashed because he was doing an amazing job again but to be honest I felt I could have caught Dani and taken third anyway. When I saw Marc crash I slowed down to not risk losing a second podium in a row, which is a fantastic achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and me. I’m fourth in the Championship, top non-factory rider again, so it has been another great way to finish the weekend and continue our very strong start to the season.”
Fellow Brit and team-mate Bradley Smith had a tough weekend at his debut MotoGP race in Mugello, following two heavy crashes at the Tuscan circuit.
The 22 year old rookie obtained a left hand injury after a heavy fall on Friday in FP2, getting his hand caught under the bike. Warm-up brought another big crash for Smith, who suffered some bruising following a high-side at the same corner. Bravely the Oxfordshire rider decided to race and fought showing clear determination to bring home a top ten finish.
Smith will have to have a skin-graft operation tomorrow in San Marino to repair his left little finger, but still crossed the line in ninth “To be honest ninth position was obviously a really good result considering the circumstances of today. This morning’s crash was the last thing I needed, so to be able to go the whole race distance with just one mistake was positive for me. I had a lot of problems with my left hand as well as with my wrist and it was magnified with Mugello being such physically demanding track. So I believe I did a really good job. It would have been good to beat (Aleix) Espargaro at the end but considering the whole weekend I should be satisfied with another top 10 result. After a very difficult weekend for my body I just need to rest as much as I can to put me in the best possible condition for Barcelona. We still learned a lot during these tough days, especially from the big crashes, but I suppose that’s all part of the game on my way to becoming a better MotoGP rider.”