A close moment at the start of Sunday's Italian MotoGP at Mugello saw Cal Crutchlow lose touch with leaders Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

Crutchlow was forced to swerve to avoid front row starter Andrea Dovizioso (pictured), losing his momentum on the long run to the first corner in the process.

"I just lost out in the start of the race," said Crutchlow. "As soon as Andrea got his start and wheelied into the side of me, then nearly wheelied off the back - we'd already lost near enough a couple of seconds in that."

Related Articles

The incident helped Marquez move ahead of both Crutchlow and Dovizioso by turn one and the Englishman finished the opening lap in fourth place, where he had started. But Crutchlow then began to reel the factory RCVs back in during the second half of the grand prix.

"I made a couple of small mistakes and I was a little bit slow in the first eight laps, but after that we started to get a lot faster," recalled the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider.

When Marquez crashed out in the closing stages, Crutchlow was promoted to third - confirming his second podium in a row - and was just one-second from runner-up Pedrosa.

"I'm pleased. On Saturday we had a small crash so to bounce back from that and be on the podium is great for the team and Yamaha. We've started the season strong, top five in every race and we'll take the positives on to Barcelona," he said

"Conditions were completely different here to Le Mans. We never had the perfect set-up all weekend. I wanted to improve in the first part of braking. We made a small change this morning and saw we were fast in the warm-up.

"It was quite a lonely race but I sat on the same pace the whole race and ended up coming back to the two Hondas. It's great to show to my guys that I'm willing to push for the whole race - maybe not so good for Herve [Poncharal's] nerves, again!

"It's great we can be up there challenging the factory guys. We maybe haven't got the full pace of the factory guys but we're able to challenge."

Crutchlow is the highest place satellite rider in the world championship and has now risen to fourth overall in the standings.