Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso was clearly emotional after the Italian claimed his first MotoGP podium since Misano in 2012 after a brilliant ride in Austin.

Dovizioso prevailed in a battle with Stefan Bradl to pull clear and cement third place behind Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

The result put Ducati back on the premier class podium for the first time since Valentino Rossi's departure at the end of 2012, in only the second race under new general manager Gigi Dall'Igna's tenure.

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Afterwards, Dovi hailed the achievement as 'something special' and vowed to keep working hard to guide Ducati back to the top.

"We worked very well during the practice but didn't have the pace to fight for the podium but we weren't so far," he said. "But we always push 100 per cent and to get it is something special for us.

"I am very pleased with the way I managed the race because in the early laps I didn't have the right pace. But I kept calm and kept up a constant pace, and this paid off because I didn't stress the tyres too much.

"My performance dropped off a bit towards the end but obviously less than the other riders I was fighting with and this allowed me to do the final stages in a good condition. Then I pulled out a small gap over Bradl and Smith, which allowed me to take the chequered flag with an advantage of almost two seconds.

"We still are not fast how we want but I want to say thank-you to the team and all the people working for me because we've been working hard for a year and suffering a lot.

"Getting a result like this at this time of the season is very important, also for all the engineers and mechanics in the racing division back in Bologna, who are working very hard to improve the Desmosedici's competitiveness."

Dovizioso, who has been battling 'flu all weekend, now holds fourth in the world championship.

Team-mate, Cal Crutchlow, suffered the misfortune of a heavy fall that has left the Coventry man with a dislocated little finger on his right hand on a day of contrasting fortunes for the team.