Andrea Dovizioso says he feels as though he is celebrating a victory after notching up an unexpected fifth podium of the season at Indianapolis for the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha team.
The Italian, who is expected to be announced as Valentino Rossi's replacement at Ducati in the coming days, has been in outstanding form aboard the independent YZF-M1 this year, though the man himself admits he was surprised to prove so competitive at the iconic Indiana circuit.
Indeed, while Dovizioso makes reference to Ben Spies's retirement ahead and Casey Stoner's ankle injury, which enabled the Italian to snatch third in the closing stages, he was thrilled to once again have his moment on the podium.
“This podium is once again confirmation of our great work as a team and I am really proud of the support I get from all my crew in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team,” he said. “For us a podium is always like a victory and of course I'm really happy but I think we still can do better. But honestly I didn't expect to be so strong at this track.
“Unfortunately I could not push as hard as I would have liked to at the beginning of the race, so I lost a bit of time and could not stay with the leading group. And afterwards when Ben broke the engine I did half of the straight trying to see through the smoke and I was not sure if there was oil on my tyres, so I lost some important tenths. Maybe the position could not have been better but for sure the gap would have been less to Dani and Jorge.
“I'm not completely satisfied because I wasn't as consistent as I'd hoped, but to be on the podium is a great feeling and a good reward for all our hard work. I also want to pay tribute to Casey today because he delivered a brilliant performance. Physically he wasn't in the best shape but it was still very hard to beat him. Now we got to Brno with a lot of confidence and I'm optimistic that the podium is a realistic target again.”
The result means Dovizioso has moved 31 points clear of Crutchlow in the overall standings and currently holds down a comfortable fourth place overall.
Furthermore, as a measure of Dovizioso's performance on satellite machinery this year, he has already scored more podiums in 2012 than Ben Spies did on the factory Yamaha in 2011.