Britain's Cal Crutchlow finally had a podium finish to celebrate after the Ducati rider capitalised on the wet weather chaos to finish third in the Aragon MotoGP.

Crutchlow was granted a rare window of opportunity to challenge for the top three when Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa plus his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso were all caught out by the rain as the race neared a climax.

The Coventry man, joining LCR Honda in 2015, forced his way up to third after changing to his wet weather machine and almost snatched the runner-up spot away from Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro as they rubbed elbows on the dash to the line.

"I think we thoroughly deserved that for the year we had and we needed something to give us a boost," he said.

"Yesterday we had a good second row start but I was not too pleased at the start of the race because I felt the pace could've been a little bit quicker.

"But I had a lot of sliding with the rear tyre immediately; I felt we could've battled in the group with Pol [Espargaro], [Stefan] Bradl, [Alvaro] Bautista and Aleix, but I expected to be a little bit quicker than what we were. We had a speed disadvantage on the exit of the corner onto the back straight but I was more pleased this weekend.

"Of course we are pleased to qualify on the second row and finish on the podium but to be racing with Bradl, Pol, Aleix. In a lot of races we've finished 20 seconds behind them.

"I think we rode the bike a lot better even in the dry rather than the wet and this morning I found a good setting with the wet bike," Crutchlow added.

"I came in at the right time to change bikes and I let Bradley [Smith] past because I couldn't see the guy in front of me and Bradley took a lot of risks in the damp conditions with the slick tyre to catch me.

"So I thought I'd let him past to see whether he'd pit or not and if he pitted then I was going to pit as well. He passed me into the pit lane and I passed him immediately coming out of the pit lane."

Crutchlow found a good pace after the changeover and was able to reel in Espargaro on the final lap, narrowly missing out on second place right at the end.

"The guys did a good job during the change and my pace was good in the rain and I was able to catch up to Aleix in the last corner. Honestly I was happy to take a podium so I haven't seen a bonus all year is to take the podium is good, but I thought I had to try for second for sure," he said.

"I couldn't see anything so I nearly hit the back of Aleix. I couldn't change gear because my leg was already touching his bike, so I went across the finish line in third gear instead of fifth but if I'd been in fifth then I'd have hammered him, so I think I deserve half the second place bonus as well!"

Crutchlow says there is no question over the morale in his team even though he is leaving at the end of the season and was not given the GP14.2 evolution bike.

"We still have a great morale in my garage even though I'm leaving at the end of the season and they don't give up on me. They've been working very hard," he said.

"Sure, I'm not going to get the latest parts, the latest engine, chassis, tank or whatever they have because there is no need and no point to give it to me. But they are still working very hard for me. In parc ferme I begged Gigi [Dall'Igna] for one thing, hopefully it will come through."

Pressed on what the 'one thing' was, Crutchlow replied: "I can't tell you!"

It is thought that Crutchlow was referring to aerodynamic parts for the final rounds.


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