Cal Crutchlow takes maiden podium in Brno thriller
26 August 2012 14:33
Cal Crutchlow ended a 12-year wait for a British rider to score a MotoGP podium after he took third place in this afternoon’s Brno MotoGP race.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider finished behind a thrilling scrap between Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, which Pedrosa won after an enthralling last lap.
Pedrosa took his third win of the season in dramatic fashion after he exchanged the lead four times with title rival Lorenzo on the last lap.
The pair had been locked together for the whole race but Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa started the final lap in front.
Lorenzo seized the lead at Turn 5 but it came down to the penultimate corner when Pedrosa dived under the 2010 world champion’s Yamaha YZR-M1.
Lorenzo briefly edged ahead again but ran wide on the approach to the final corner and Pedrosa swept around the outside. With a faster pace approaching the final right-hander, Pedrosa managed to cling onto one of the best victories of his MotoGP career.
So often in his career when battles have come down to the final stages, Pedrosa has been second best, but today’s crucial win will give him massive confidence heading into the final six races.
His third win of the season cut Lorenzo’s title lead to just 13-points and it was a day to remember too for 26-year-old Coventry rider Crutchlow.
He was in third place from the first lap and a series of consistently fast laps ensured he never came under any serious threat from Italian team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in fourth.
Crutchlow’s stunning third, which came after he claimed a career best qualifying result in second yesterday, secured the first rostrum by a British rider since Jeremy McWilliams was third at Donington Park back in 2000.
Crutchlow’s result continued a remarkable run for Herve Poncharal’s French-based Tech 3 squad. Today’s third was the fifth race in the last six that a Tech 3 rider has finished on the podium.
Dovizioso took an easy fourth ahead of German Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista.
Valentino Rossi had a strong start and held fifth until lap nine. But he was powerless to stop Bradl and Bautista from streaking away and he finished a massive 34 seconds behind Pedrosa at the end of the 22-lap race in seventh.
It was another nightmare day for Texan Ben Spies, who suffered a clutch problem immediately after he launched off the line.
He plummeted back to 14th but recovered to eighth when he crashed out on lap nine. Spies was uninjured but he has now scored just five points in the last four races after a shocking run of luck.