Having qualified on pole position for Saturday's second round of the 2009 World Supersport Championship, even a debut podium finish wasn't enough to satisfy the ever-competitive Cal Crutchlow - who feels it should have been him, rather than Eugene Laverty, celebrating a first world championship race win.
Crutchlow was the lone Yamaha battling against the Hondas of Laverty, Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu - and seemed to suffer on the straights. A missed gear in the closing laps cost the WSS rookie valuable time, however with tyres fading he made it all back up and finished the race third following a pass on Sofuoglu on the very final lap.
''A bit disappointing for me today, I feel I should have won the race, I think we still need to improve on some areas,” said Crutchlow, who has now finished on the podium in both WSBK and WSS. “I had a couple of moments on the edge of the track at the end, but you've got to put it out there to win! Hopefully when we get to Valencia and more European circuits I'm familiar with I can get closer to a victory.''
“Cal had a good race, the track conditions were terrible, nearly 48 degrees, so he lost the front a couple of times, and also missed a shift which lost him even more time,” confirmed team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. “He caught up but was unable to slipstream on the straights enough to overtake.
“He has a decent position in the championship though and everything is still to play for with the rest of the season still to come. Everything is really close together so the championship is still open for those top four or five riders.''
Crutchlow now sits fourth in the world championship, just eleven points off title leader Pitt heading to round three.
Meanwhile, Crutchlow's team-mate Fabien Foret had a tricky start, and was then held up to 15th place avoiding trouble on the track. The Frenchman got onto a good race pace but a highside sent him out of the race on the third lap.
''Not a great day for me, unfortunately I got caught up on the first lap which pushed me back down quite a few places,” said Foret. “I wasn't feeling too comfortable but was pushing to come back up the field. Unfortunately I had a high-side coming out of the corner. I'm a little sore but determined to make up for it at Valencia and get into the top pack for the championship fight.''