Cal Crutchlow put aside the pain of an ankle injury to charge from 20th to sixth in front of his home fans in Sunday's British MotoGP at Silverstone.

The 26-year-old was only passed fit to ride minutes before the Sunday's warm-up session after he suffered a fractured bone in his left ankle (the team stated on Saturday evening that there were no fractures) following a nasty fall in final practice.

Having missed qualifying to undergo scans in hospital, Crutchlow had to start the 20-lap race from the back of the grid, but was soon on the move.

By the end of the second lap, Crutchlow had already passed all nine CRT machines to move into 11th, with Valentino Rossi factory Ducati 3.3s clear in 10th.

Despite the considerable discomfort caused when changing direction and shifting gears, Crutchlow passed Rossi for 10th on lap six and then hunted down Hector Barbera and Stefan Bradl to seize seventh by lap 11.

Crutchlow's hopes of a top six seemed remote when he trailed Nicky Hayden by seven seconds on lap 12. Roared on by his home crowd, Crutchlow set a stunning pace that matched the leading group and a remarkable charge through the field was complete when he secured sixth from Hayden on the very final lap.

Crutchlow, who set the ninth fastest race lap, receive a deserved standing ovation from an appreciative home crowd when he returned to the Yamaha Tech 3 garage and his efforts mean he has regained fourth, and top satellite rider, in the 2012 standings.

"That's a weekend I won't forget in a hurry," said Crutchlow, who had left the home fans disappointed in 2011 when he was sidelined by a fractured collarbone in qualifying.

"Yesterday was a disaster with the crash and I thought I was going to miss my home race again. But the Clinica Mobile team and medical staff at Silverstone did an amazing job and I am grateful that I could finally start my home grand prix.

"I never imagined I could get sixth position because normally if you start from the third row it is very difficult to get into that position. So starting from the back of the grid, I'd have been happy to finish the last prototype bike.

"It was a very tough race but I just had to try and ignore the pain and let the adrenaline and support of the British crowd get me through. When I got by Bradl I could see Nicky was a long way clear, but I just kept on pushing to see what happened.

"I'm really happy with my lap times because I was as quick as the guys on the podium, even with a broken ankle. So a little part of me can't help but think without the crash yesterday that I could have been on the podium in the British Grand Prix.

"I'm not going to complain with sixth and I want to say thanks to my Yamaha Tech 3 crew, who basically chose the set-up of the bike for me and it worked great.

"Also a big thanks to all the British fans who were unbelievable today. When I was lying in the gravel yesterday all I could think was they weren't going to see me ride in my home race again.

"Their support helped me a lot and I hope they went home proud of the job I did for them."

Team manager Herve Poncharal was astounded with Crutchlow's performance.

"That was a truly incredible race and words almost fail me to describe the job that Cal did today," said the Frenchman. "We weren't even sure this morning that he could ride, so for him to finish in the top six is a result I don't think we expected or will ever forget.

"We thought he might be able to get close to the top 10 but obviously once the adrenaline kicked in and he felt his confidence coming back, he got his head down and we were happy when he got seventh.

"He was a long way behind Nicky but to pass him on the last lap sums Cal up perfectly. He never gives up, he's got amazing self-belief and he has got a lot of guts to match his talent. I am proud of him and I'm sure all of the British fans are too."

Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who took a podium at the previous Catalunya round, fell while battling for a podium and finished the race a lap down.