Cal Crutchlow's strong form in last year's debut Austin MotoGP round means the new Factory Ducati rider is looking forward to this weekend's Texan return.

With the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders benefiting from a private test prior to the inaugural Circuit of the Americas event, Crutchlow took his 2013 Tech 3 Yamaha to a close fourth place in both qualifying and the race - behind only by Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.

"We are looking forward to the race at Austin, because it was a track I did well at last year," said Crutchlow. "I'd never even tested there and we finished strong with a fourth place, so I'm really looking forward to riding the GP14 on this track."

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Crutchlow claimed a sixth place finish on his Ducati debut in Qatar, despite accidents in practice then electronic issues during the race.

"The guys worked 100% in Qatar after my crashes, I gave them a little bit of work to do! It was a disappointing race because of the electronics problem that we had, but it was good that we finished the race in sixth."

Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso finished fifth in Qatar, twelve seconds from Honda race winner Marquez. The Italian, seventh at the Circuit of the Americas last season, warned that the next few events could be tough for the Desmosedici.

"We have to be happy and positive about the fact that we reduced the gap to the leaders by half in Qatar and confirmed the improvements we made in the tests," he said. "We know we've still got a long way to go however to be competitive and I think that some of the next few tracks will be difficult for us this year, starting with Austin, but that track is so nice and I am really looking forward to racing there again this weekend."

Although still classed as Factory entries, the four Ducati riders are currently able to benefit from the Open class fuel, tyre, engine and testing concessions.