Fresh from a fighting fourth place, Cal Crutchlow stated his performance in Sunday’s MotoGP outing at the Circuit of Catalunya proves he is still adept at overturning his fortunes when all seems lost.

The Englishman was vexed at his qualifying position of tenth after falling out of Saturday’s Q2 session at speed when contesting a top six place – his second crash of the weekend.

And choosing a medium front and soft rear tyre for the 24-lap affair seemed unusual for a rider with late-braking tendencies, who tends to favour the hardest option available.

Yet Crutchlow mounted a fine recovery from a steady opening to the race, making his way past Andrea Iannone, Danilo Petrucci and Bradley Smith in quick succession before closing on Dani Pedrosa.

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Once he moved by on the Spaniard on lap 18, he eased clear, taking fourth place, three seconds back of Valentino Rossi.

“It was a good day and obviously I am pleased with the result,” said Crutchlow, now sixth in the championship. “Well, we are and we aren’t. We wanted to aim for the podium like I said in the press conference and finishing fourth is a bit bittersweet. I qualified tenth, was eighteenth this morning and then finished fourth.

“We have to be happy with the result and the fact that the whole team put together a package I am happy with. Honda did a great job because they backed me to use a medium front tyre and I said, “let me manage it” and we managed the situation like we did in Qatar and Mugello.

“I took the decision. They didn't think it was right but I stuck to my guns and I think it worked out very well. I didn't go hard enough at the start but that was the risk with the full tank and a medium tyre on the front. I picked them off one-by-one and thought if I could get one a lap then I’d be in a good position.

“I make a mistake with Dani because I should have passed him four laps before like I could have but I didn't think Valentino was reachable. That's the way it is. There was nothing else I could have done today.

“The team and Honda did a good job and now we’ll look to Assen and hopefully the tyre allocation won’t be too bad. Today I think I proved that when the chips are down and it doesn't look good for me at certain points in the weekend I can still turn it around when I need to.”

Crutchlow was one of only 14 finishers from 26 starters after a race of attrition, the hot conditions and slippery, new track surface catching several names out throughout.

Did he feel his experience helped him reach the chequered flag? “You have to manage the situation and that was that the track didn't have great grip,” he said. “I don't really know the pace of the guys at the front because they were gone after those couple of laps I was held up.

“I was pleased with my pace at the end and in the last ten laps of the race I was fast. We can be pleased with our performance. The guys on the podium did a great job as well. Lorenzo, like I said at the start of the weekend, was the guy to beat and was fastest in nearly every session and made it count.

“As I’ve also said I have no idea how he will go in the next races. We know Mugello and here he is special and he has rode superb and that's why he is a multiple champion.”

And what of his rear tyre choice? “Dani ran the medium and I knew I had to go and run away with the guys if I had a chance of the podium. The problem was that I also chose the medium front tyre and didn't feel superb at the start of the race.

“But my rear tyre was good and I think we managed it as a team. We controlled the power and the electronics well and I controlled my right wrist well as well. With the Honda most of it is controlled with your right wrist.”

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