Author: Bike Social Reporter Posted: 20 May 2013
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa may have clinched MotoGP victory at Le Mans last weekend, but it was Brit Cal Crutchlow's heroic ride that every one was talking about.
The Monster Tech-3 Yamaha rider scored a superb second place at the French circuit – his best ever MotoGP finish – despite riding with a fractured tibia sustained during practice on Saturday.
Depite his injury, Crutchlow made his best-ever MotoGP result, making him the first Great British rider to get on the podium since Niall Mackenzie in 1993. Northern Ireland's Jeremy McWilliams also scored two third-placed premier class finishes in 2000.
But you have to go back tweny eight years to 1985 when Ron Haslam was second in the Dutch TT at Assen (GP) to match Cal's second place in the premier class.
Crutchlow said: "I’m really happy to get my best ever result in MotoGP and the whole team did an incredible job and deserves this result. We showed our fast pace in the dry, we showed our pace in the wet and I think everybody is aware we are not here through luck. It’s even better and more important because this is the home race for Tech 3 and Monster Energy sponsors the event. So to be the best and only Yamaha on the podium feels really good.”
He added: “My start was not the best and it took me a bit of time to get temperature into the tyres. But once I managed that I felt really comfortable. When I saw Andrea and Dani opening a small gap to Valentino I had to make a move because I was afraid they would be too far ahead to try and catch later in the race. And when I saw Marquez recovering time on my pit board I had to pass Andrea otherwise he might have caught both of us during the last laps. I’m really happy with how things went, especially after the crash yesterday. The wet track obviously put less stress on my body but it was tough riding injured in such tough conditions. From now on I just hope we can be injury free and go to Mugello to put on the same show as we did here today.”
Andrea Dovisioso clinched the holeshot from his front row qualifying position, leading reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi.
Pedrosa made numerous attempts to pass Italian Dovi during the early part of the race, but it wasn’t until lap six when he found a way past.
However, Pedrosa made a mistake on lap nine, which relegated him back down the pack to seventh place, and it took three laps for him to retake the lead.
Meanwhile, Rossi attempted to pass Lorenzo for third place but ran off track, allowing Cal Crutchlow to close in on the leading riders. Rossi later crashed out of contention but remounted and limped hom to 12th place to score two valuable championship points.
Lorenzo’s pace had also dropped off by lap 12 while Crutchlow had made his way up to third behind Dovizioso by half-race distance.|
The determined Brit made a move on the Ducati rider on lap 25, with Marquez also passing Doviziosi and putting some pressure on Crutchlow.
Crutchlow's Tech 3 Yamaha team mate and MotoGP rookie, Bradley Smith, made his best-ever MotoGP finish with a plucky 9th place.
1 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda 49'17.707
2 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +4.863
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda +6.949
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati +10.087
5 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team Ducati +18.471
6 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda +23.561
7 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +27.961
8 Michele PIRRO Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati +40.775
9 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +41.407
10 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP Honda +1'00.995