Cal Crutchlow says he can be 'pretty happy' with his top five finish in the United States Grand Prix having shown a marked improvement on his performance at Laguna Seca twelve months ago.
As speculation regarding his future continued to be one of the talking points over the race weekend, particularly following the announcement that Nicky Hayden will stay with Ducati, Crutchlow proved a consistent top five performer throughout the event, finishing exactly where he started.
Though bottled up behind Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for much of the race, Crutchlow contended that any attempt to pass the Italian would have risked a potential clash so was content to settle for a fifth place finish.
“I'm pretty happy with another solid finish inside the top five and that is a big improvement on last year where I struggled a lot at this track,” said Crutchlow, who failed to finish last year's US GP. “All weekend I was inside the top six so to finish fifth and have another strong battle with Andrea is good for the Championship.
“Credit to Andrea again because he was faultless and it didn't seem to matter how much pressure I put on him, he remained ice cool and didn't put a foot wrong to give me a chance of passing. Any pas s would have been a desperate lunge and I certainly wasn't going to risk taking us both out in such an important race for Yamaha and Monster.
“It was a good battle with Ben for the first 20 laps and I feel sorry for him because it was building up to be a good fight between the three of us at the end. It was bad luck for Ben and I did everything I could without being able to take fourth from Andrea.
“It has been a great first half to the season for me. I've finished all 10 races and that was the consistency I was looking for. I'm now staying in America for a well-earned break before coming back strong and confident for Indianapolis.”
Crutchlow is one of only two riders – the other being Dani Pedrosa – to finish every race so far this season inside the top ten.