Cal Crutchlow hailed Jorge Lorenzo’s Catalunya MotoGP victory as one of the best of the Spaniard’s premier class career after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider’s challenge was ended by an early crash.
Lorenzo led home red-hot pre-race favourite Dani Pedrosa by 1.763s to cut the Repsol Honda rider’s world championship lead to just seven points with a third of the title chase completed.
Lorenzo powered his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 to a second successive start-to-finish victory, which Crutchlow watched the majority of from the pits after he tumbled out of fourth on lap six.
After watching a master class in leading from the front, Crutchlow said Lorenzo rode an unbelievable race.
“Dani never put in a challenge at all and in all honesty Lorenzo rode unbelievable. He was a bit more flustered than normal this weekend but he led every corner and those conditions are not really suiting Yamaha.
"It was probably one of the best races he’d ridden in a long time. The odds were stacked against him but he still got the job done," said Crutchlow.
Crutchlow’s bid for a record-breaking third successive podium was going well until the sixth lap when he lost the front of his YZR-M1 machine at Turn 6.
He was keeping Valentino Rossi behind him with relative ease and maintaining a pursuit of Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Marc Marquez when he went down and he said: “Obviously I am disappointed that a great weekend ended with a crash and I have to hold my hands up and say it was a stupid mistake on my part.
"Like last season and again in the first few races of 2013, I have been struggling to stop the bike in the early laps with a full fuel load. I was giving it my all to stay in the battle with the top three and unfortunately I hit the kerb on the inside and crashed.
"It was a silly mistake and I am sorry to the team because I am confident I could have stayed in the fight for the podium right to the end.
"We have got to understand why we don’t have so much grip at the start of the race but I can take some big positives out of the weekend again. I was on the front row, I was fastest in the warm-up and I was battling for the podium in the race.”
For more from Crutchlow, see the June 19 issue of Motor Cycle News.