MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow put a run of six bad events behind him with an eleventh place finish in Sunday's Indianapolis Grand Prix.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, who had crashed out of the previous two rounds, dropped from eleventh on the grid to 14th after a 'crap' start - and almost choked on his drinking equipment - before finding form in the second half of the race.

"It might sound silly but I don't think any of us in the garage have ever been so pleased to get an eleventh place," said Crutchlow.

"It was crap at the start. We made some mistakes and about three or four laps into the race, my mouthpiece in my Camelback came off, and I choked on it. So I had to go straight on at Turn 1. Then I spat it out and got going again.

"It was a bit dodgy. But I enjoyed it in the end and had a good battle with Valentino. We haven't finished the last couple of races, so I needed to make sure that I finished.

"The result wasn't the best, but at the end of the race I was lapping faster than Jorge Lorenzo. I was a long way behind him but that still gives me a lot of encouragement.

"This result at least gives us something to build on for the next races, starting at Misano, which is a track that at least I don't have to learn."

Team manager Herv? Poncharal, critical of Crutchlow's previous race-day falls, praised the former World Supersport champion for his Indy performance.

"Cal was a lot better than in previous races and he did a good, solid job," said the Frenchman. "At the beginning he struggled but he got a lot better throughout the race lap and at the end he was faster than the group in front of him.

"That race was just what he needed after the bad period to clear of his mind a little bit. I believe he had a great race and that will put him back on the track."


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