LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow felt his potential to challenge at the front in the Japanese MotoGP was nullified on the opening laps as the British rider struggled to generate heat in his rear Bridgestone tyre in the wet at Motegi.

Crutchlow also destroyed the front tyre on his RC213V but rallied at the finish to pass fellow countryman Bradley Smith to seal sixth place on the last lap.

The 29-year-old, who qualified in eighth place on row three, said: "Obviously to finish in a race like that is really difficult so I'm happy enough with the race result and the position. I'd like to have been closer to the winner but we had problems at the start of the race and I couldn't get any heat in the rear tyre.

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"Then when we did, I started to push and I destroyed the front tyre, so it was a really long race after that with 19 laps left and the front tyre destroyed.

"I did the best job I could and I managed the situation quite well and I think it was easy not to finish the race," he added.

"I thought again I was one of the strongest guys in the rain today. With full wet [conditions] I think we'd have had a really good chance of being in the fight at the front, but it never stayed wet enough at all for my set-up or my riding style in the rain."