Cal Crutchlow believes Yamaha can now be confident of a good season after an upturn in performance over the Portimao weekend left him with a fine pole position and podium finish.

Although it wasn't quite the victory challenge Crutchlow had envisaged following his superb record-breaking turn in Superpole, the Briton did display vastly improved race craft compared to the opening round at Phillip Island.

Indeed, having dropped to sixth during race one, once up to third, Crutchlow reeled off a series of fast laps as he attempted to bridge the gap to Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam ahead of him. However, an error conspired to drop him back before a further mistake would see him crash out altogether with three laps remaining.

Despite this, Crutchlow fought back in race two to battle amongst the leaders from start-to-finish, even if he never looked quite able to challenge for the win.

Nonetheless, despite being critical of his own race one error, Crutchlow praised Yamaha's progress since the season opener, adding that he believes they can 'keep the ball rolling'.

"It was a tough day today from the first race," he said. "I made a stupid mistake, my own fault I was pushing too hard. We've made big steps from Australia, all credit to Yamaha they've done a fantastic job. We came here fighting but unfortunately in the first race I went down and Jonathan Rea got through and got the podium.

"I'm looking forward to the next weekend in Valencia, if we can continue doing a good job and getting the success we're starting to experience it'll be a good season, let's keep the ball rolling. The team have put in a sterling effort this weekend.

"Well done to Max Biaggi and Leon Camier as well."


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