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Feisty Crutchlow fired up by Stoner battle

Cal Crutchlow keeps Casey Stoner company throughout the Catalunya Grand Prix on the way to fifth place.
Cal Crutchlow says he has plenty of reason to be happy with his run to fifth position in the Catalunya Grand Prix, despite losing out in a race-long dice with champion Casey Stoner.

The British rider started from the front row of the grid, but while was bumped down to sixth through the early bends, he was able to navigate his way up to fourth place at the expense of Stoner on the factory Repsol Honda.

Keeping the Australian at bay for some time, though Stoner eventually made it back through on lap seven, Crutchlow maintained close company with him to hint at a potential re-pass before the end of the race.

In the end, the Tech 3 Yamaha rider would drop back in the closing stages to maintain fifth place, but the man himself says his tussle with Stoner is the ideal platform to break his MotoGP podium duck at his home Silverstone race later this month.

“I'd have liked to have battled for the podium at the end and I think if I could have passed Casey I could have gone with Andrea. I was strong in some parts of the track and Casey in others, so each time I'd close up, he would be able to pull away and manage the gap.

“I couldn't do anything else to get by him but he's not the World Champion for nothing. He rode brilliantly and I've got to be happy to be so close to him on a track I've only raced on twice now.

“I struggled for a bit of rear grip at the end and that cost me a bit of time but I qualified on the front row and finished in the top five, so there are so many positives to take away from this weekend. Now I'm really looking forward to my home race at Silverstone where I hope to be battling for the podium again in front of my own fans.”

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June 03, 2012 7:47 PM

I think Cal's lack of experience at this level is showing a little. He needs to improve his starts and his pace over the first few laps so he doesn't spend a race trying to make up ground and pass other riders. He seems unsure when to press an advantage too, and perhaps he needs to be a little more determined with his overtakes. That's the downside. On the upside, he's still learning and improving and is looking more and more comfortable running with the likes of Stoner and Pedrosa, whose tailpipes he never got a sniff of last year. Silverstone will be a good track to really put everything together and begin to build his case for a factory seat somewhere next year.

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