Cal Crutchlow was more than satisfied with a rostrum finish in Argentina after the British rider had to contend with the uncertainty of a warning light on the dash of his LCR Honda.

He made amends for a nightmare beginning to the season in Qatar, when he came off twice in the night race at the Losail International Circuit.

Crutchlow was embroiled in a close race with Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Ross throughout at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, with Rossi making a decisive pass to snatch the runner-up spot with seven laps remaining as Maverick Vinales pulled clear to clinch his second win on the trot.

With the warning light catching his attention on the dash, Crutchlow said he tried to manage the situation as best he could and was relieved to reward his team with a rostrum result after a disappointing start to the season in Qatar.

"First of all congratulations to Maverick and Vale because they rode fantastic. It was nice to get a podium for the LCR Honda team after what happened in Qatar and I'm very happy to take a third place to be honest," Crutchlow said.

"I had to manage the situation pretty much from the start of the race because I had some warning light on the dash and I didn't panic, but I started to be able to push. When Maverick came past I decided to follow him for a little while and see if I can manage the situation, and I did. Then I saw Vale was +0, +0, +0, so then I decided to push to Maverick again. But then I had the warning light again and I thought I better slow down again," he added.

"I tried to manage the situation as best as possible and when Vale came past he seemed to have a little bit more grip than me. But we know with the Honda at the moment it's quite difficult to ride and the bike is a little out of shape.

"I think we did a good job to manage things and bring the bike home in a podium position because after Qatar it was a disaster for me and my team because I felt strong to make a good result there."

Crutchlow joked that it was unusual for him to remain upright as he saved the day for Honda after factory pair Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both slid out at Turn 2 in separate incidents.

"If somebody crashes you always wonder why they crashed but I'm sure I understand why he [Marquez] crashed: because he pushed like an animal from the start," Crutchlow said.

"Honestly speaking, from the start of the race I let him go and was happy to - the same as in 2015 here when I also let him go in the first lap; he was already on the limit in the first corner and nearly high-sided going in. I let him go and thought 'OK, keep the other guys behind me for a while and then try and come across to Marc' - like in Australia and in some other races. Normally he is able to push and then you try to catch him, but he made a mistake, unfortunately for him," he added.

"We know the bike is critical in this area and we all ran the harder-spec tyre and two of the guys crashed and I managed to stay on the bike, which is not normal to be honest sometimes!

"But I felt good and Vale will tell you I had some moments into Turn 2, but it's more the Honda and when the bike moves a little it's really easy to lose the front tyre and we are pushing so hard in this area. But I think we could have still been competitive today with Marc today if he had finished and it's a shame for him because I think he had a good pace also."

Crutchlow pointed out that the last time he finished a race he also finished on the podium, in Australia at the end of last season.

"To start the season and have a podium in the second race is good and the last time I finished a race I was on the podium also in Australia. I like Argentina and the circuit is good; it's difficult to manage with the bumps for the whole race but I'm pleased for my team, definitely."

 

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