Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow maintained his record of finishing inside the top five in every MotoGP race this season as the British rider produced a battling performance at Jerez in Spain.

Crutchlow bounced back from two heavy falls on Saturday to dice with Valentino Rossi for fourth at the beginning of the race.

As Rossi pulled ahead, Crutchlow then became embroiled in a scrap with Alvaro Bautista, who snatched fifth on the Gresini Honda on lap 11.

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Crutchlow hit back six laps later and dug deep to break Bautista's resolve to nail down fifth place for Herve Poncharal's team by almost three seconds.

"Fifth place today is not a bad result considering everything that has gone on before but it's not exactly what we expected," said Crutchlow.

"I was fast all weekend but after the two crashes yesterday I think it's a very good result to remain the best of the rest.

"I did not feel very confident with the front-end in the race, but I think all Yamaha's struggled in this area," he added.

"I think in the middle of the race my pace was good and I started to push but with the full fuel tank I could not stop the bike and I had no grip, so I lost quite a bit of time in the early laps."

Crutchlow said he was physically able to cope with the demands of the race after his spills on Saturday although he did suffer from some lower back pain.

"Physically I had no problem on the bike for the race distance although I had a little bit of pain in my lower back," he said.

"It has been a difficult weekend in many respects so I am very satisfied with fifth because probably last year I would not have finished the race in the same situation and that's for sure an improvement."