Cal Crutchlow will switch to World Superbikes in 2010 as the reigning World Supersport Champion after doing what he needed to do to wrap up the title at the final round in Portugal.

Crutchlow went into the weekend as the champion-elect having pulled out a 19 point advantage over sole rival Eugene Laverty, the Briton requiring just a top ten finish to come away with the title.

Although Laverty did his best with a dominant victory on the Parkalgar Honda, Crutchlow favoured caution, keeping a safe distance behind Kenan Sofuoglu before demoting himself to fourth behind the charging Triumph of Garry McCoy.

Following the Australian over the finish line, fourth was more than enough for Crutchlow to secure his place in history by becoming the first non-Ten Kate Honda rider since 2001 to take the Supersport title.

"Fourth is the worst finish I've had this year! Obviously I've had a couple of DNFs but when I've finished fourth has been the worst. I just wanted to bring it home. I didn't need to push Eugene.

"He's been riding really well all weekend and keeping the pressure on me. I didn't want to get into any battles, I followed Kenan at the start but his pace was just too fast so I let him go. I let Gary past then settled in behind him and let him bring me home for the race so thank to him."

Crutchlow's World Superbike career begins in earnest this week when he takes to the title-winning R1 alongside James Toseland in preparation for 2010.

"It's been a tough season and all credit to Yamaha they've done a fantastic job, I'm elated! I want to thank the team and all my sponsors for their support, and my family, my dad and my mum and Lucy my girlfriend who has put up with me!"

One of three world titles Yamaha are able to celebrate on one weekend, Yamaha SSP manager Wilco Zeelenberg was thrilled to finally win the championship after several years of getting close.

"We are delighted with the results from today, I think everybody at Yamaha must be happy with Valentino and Ben and Cal all winning. Of course for me I'm especially happy for Cal and our team for winning the championship.

"We rode a really tactical race I have to say and he brought it home and did the job really well, I think he was the fastest guy out there the whole season. I want to thank the team who have worked so hard to make this possible for him as well."

Yamaha Motor Europe manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp joined in the celebrations, before stating that Yamaha's Supersport plans for 2010 after still to be decided.

"It's great to see a rider like Cal progressing in his career with Yamaha, from his early success with the R6 cup to World Supersport Champion today. He has shown dominating speed on so many occasions this season and today showed his maturity to grab the title.

"The R6 as a production bike continues to build on its racing heritage as confirmed today here in Portimao. The team did a super job and it is with mixed feelings that we have not yet been able to finalize our plans for 2010 with them."


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