Cal Crutchlow achieved his third podium finish in four races as the Tech 3 Yamaha rider claimed the final place on the rostrum in the Dutch MotoGP at Assen.
Crutchlow, who became the first British rider since Jeremy McWilliams
in 2002 to claim pole position in the premier class, had been embroiled in a gripping battle with Marc Marquez for the runner-up spot in the closing laps, but his chance was blown after he ran on at the first turn at the beginning of the final lap.
The former World Supersport champion held on for third but Crutchlow feels he had a chance to challenge Valentino Rossi
for the win had he not struggled with a full fuel tank in the opening stages of the race.
“I am really happy to be back on the podium after the disappointment of Barcelona,” said Crutchlow, who now has five MotoGP podiums to his credit.
“It was a great battle right to the end and once again I showed my speed and I was close to finishing second and that would have matched my best result in MotoGP.
“But obviously after starting from pole position I wanted to win the race and had it not been for me struggling with the full fuel tank in the first five laps, I think I had a chance to fight with Valentino.
“I can't turn the bike on a full fuel load and then Jorge passed me and he was riding amazing considering his physical condition,” he added.
“It took me a while to get back by him but then I chased down Dani and Marc but it was a case of too little, too late.”
Reflecting on his final lap scrape with Marquez, Crutchlow said both riders had been 'lucky'.
“It was close with Marc on the last lap and I think we touched, so we were lucky he got back on the throttle when he did otherwise both of us could have been in the grandstand!
“Being back on the podium is great for Monster, Tech 3 and Yamaha and it is another positive result for the championship,” he added.
“Before the start of the season, if somebody had said I would have been on the podium three times in seven races and been so consistently fast with the best riders in the world, then I would have been happy.
“Now we go to Germany in a positive frame of mind and hoping to get back on the rostrum again.”