Cal Crutchlow says he has plenty of positives to take away from his run to sixth position in the Italian Grand Prix, not least the tips he garnered from spending much of his race tailing Valentino Rossi.
Having started in sixth position, a poor getaway left Crutchlow fighting back from the rear end of the top ten, but his progress was stymied by an inability to find his way past Rossi for almost the entire race.
Indeed, while Crutchlow felt he had the pace in the corners to pass the Ducati rider, he couldn't get close enough to make a convincing attempt at a pass. Nonetheless, Rossi's decent race pace duly hauled Crutchlow into a top five battle during the closing stages, eventually culminating in his overtake of Nicky Hayden on the final lap for sixth place.
Hailing his tussle with the former champion, Crutchlow was pleased to finish inside the top six, as well as learn something from Rossi around one of his most treasured venues.
“My start and the first five laps pretty much decided my race because I got a terrible start," the Tech 3 Yamaha rider said. "Once I found my pace I was pretty comfortable but I didn't have a very good feeling on a full fuel tank and that is something we need to work on.
“The battle with Valentino was fantastic and I learned a lot from him. His knowledge of this track is unrivalled and his consistency was awesome. I was faster than him in the final section but I was not close enough to pass him on the brakes and he had a fast bike down the straight.
“I did everything possible but he is incredible on the brakes and didn't give me a chance. But we came from way back to almost get in the fight for the podium and I am happy to have got Nicky on the last lap for the top six. I was really strong at the last corner and made a good move, and to finish 1.4s off the podium having come from so far back is a positive outcome.
“I also want to say congratulations to Andrea. He is doing a phenomenal job and to get three podiums in a row in this class is a great achievement. He did it in front of his home crowd too and it shows what an unbelievable job the Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing in 2012.”