Cal Crutchlow produced a gritty ride to earn his second MotoGP podium finish and kick off his birthday celebrations in style at Phillip Island in Australia.
The British rider will be 27 on Monday and rewarded himself with an early present as he took third place behind home hero Casey Stoner
and newly crowned MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The result made up for the disappointment of missing out on the rostrum after Crutchlow ran out of fuel on the final lap at Motegi.
Following title challenger Dani Pedrosa's early fall, Crutchlow held his Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, plus Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl at bay before turning the screw on his M1 to break their resolve.
He pulled a gap of one second at the end of the eighth lap and increased his advantage to 3.5 seconds four laps later to move into a clear third place.
Crutchlow, still feeling the effects of a bout of bronchitis, was celebrating his second career MotoGP rostrum after standing on the podium for the first time at Brno.
“I am really happy with this result because it is a great way to finish this period of three races in a row,” he said.
“After the disappointment of running out of fuel while battling for the podium on the last lap in Japan and then crashing in Sepang, I really needed a positive result here and that's what we've got.
“Considering how ill I've felt with the fever and bronchitis, to be back on the podium is a fantastic feeling and we definitely deserved it.
“The Yamaha Tech 3 Team gave me a great bike all weekend and I was very confident and calm when in front of Andrea, Bautista and Bradl,” he added.