Cal Crutchlow was left to rue a 'missed opportunity' after the LCR Honda rider slid out of fourth place in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, ruining his prospects of a podium.

Crutchlow, who had qualified in third place on the front row, went down at Turn 11 and held his hands up afterwards, admitting he had made a mistake.

"I haven't seen the fall yet - but it felt like a fast one. I'm really disappointed. Probably, I would not say the easiest podium of the year, but I could have very easily been on the podium because the pace was not very fast from Jorge [Lorenzo] or [Johann] Zarco, after I crashed. A big missed opportunity for me, but my own mistake.

"I'd been struggling with that exact thing the whole weekend. As soon as I was releasing the brake, the front was coming up and I was closing the front. But in the weekend we had not really so much time to work on it because we were working on other things. But that's not an excuse.

"I crashed because I went in a little a bit hot - not massively, not even more than the lap before - but I was a little wide and to turn I opened the throttle. I opened it a bit more than the lap before and normally our bike spins, to turn, and it never spun. Just closed the front. So I crashed, my mistake."

The British rider is taking heart from his performance in practice and qualifying, even if his best laid plans in the race were thwarted.

"The positive is that we were competitive. My plan was to get Zarco back out of the way and just stay with Marc, because me and Marc were doing exactly the same thing at the start of the race, which was managing the front because the front was too soft - way, way too soft. Me and Marc were just riding on eggshells for the first laps and then I crashed. It seems the temperature of the tyre really went up," he said.

"We should have had a harder front tyre, but the allocation is the allocation. If Dani is using the hardest front tyre there are another five to six guys that are going to need something harder. Marc managed it very well to stay on and finish the race.

"But the pace wasn't great for the podium, third place. It was really far off what I was able to do. I just see it as a big missed opportunity... Dani and Marc both rode very well. They managed the situation well and I didn't, because I could have been on the podium."

The Honda has improved markedly since the opening round of the championship in Qatar but Crutchlow says there has been no miracle solution.

"There have not been any updates, no miraculous thing, the riders are just adapting again to the machine we have under us. Dani, I told you why he would win this weekend, because he has no stress on the tyre compared to everyone else and is able to race the medium rear and me and Marc have to race the hard.

"It was his race to lose and he did a great job of winning it, you have to give him full credit; start to finish win. And you have to give Marc the credit for managing the situation when he was in trouble, but not as much trouble as the Yamahas.

"But maybe we're just used to riding like that, maybe we're used to riding in those conditions with the bike sliding around and spinning. And when theirs does they are not able to - it's so different to what they usually have."

Several riders fell on the same lap and Crutchlow says he also saw Zarco survive a big moment before he went down himself.

"It was a strange lap, because everybody crashed on around the same lap. Pol [Espargaro] crashed a lot earlier in the corner than me, and then the next lap [Andrea] Iannone crashed in the same corner. It was like ice. It was the most difficult corner of the circuit.

"Two laps before I'd seen Zarco, honestly I had no idea how he stayed on it; the thing was completely on the floor and all he did was completely whack open the throttle and saved it by spinning. But Marc was not stopping very well. It was a strange, strange race. We know the Michelins in these kinds of conditions are difficult to manage."

Crutchlow says there is no question the stiffer construction front Michelin tyre, used at Valencia last season, will definitely benefit the Honda riders during Monday's test at Jerez.

"We know it's going to be a help, I can tell you now! But I don't know from the point of view of whether we'll be allowed to use it or not in the race weekends. So it's going to be probably positive for Honda," he said.

"But we also have to look at the fact that Marc and Dani tested here as well and we were not far from them today. I feel really good on the bike, made a mistake in the race, but in the end my speed is there. Zarco was running softer tyres front and rear and he was not setting the world alight with lap times, whereas Dani and Marc were still basically doing '40s after 27 laps. So it was possible for me to easily be there, but I wasn't. Next time."

It was rumoured that Crutchlow tested the stiffer Michelin front during a test at Le Mans but he did not clarify whether or not that had been the case.

"We tested some things but I don't know what they were. They were different tyres. All the new tyres I tried in Le Mans I had a good feeling with. We'll see what we bring here tomorrow and what we're able to test. But even if they do say we can use the older [design] as such we aren't gonna get it for a few races anyway."

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