Cal Crutchlow claimed his first MotoGP top ten in an action-packed Jerez race yesterday, despite crashing out with seven laps remaining.
The British rider was looking to maintain a brilliant podium challenge when he lost control of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine at the Curva Angel Nieto on lap 20.
He was closing in on struggling American Nicky Hayden in fourth when he went down but he was able to remount and finish eighth in his first wet MotoGP encounter.
Crutchlow was one of three riders who crashed yet still managed to finish in the top eight.
Valentino Rossi was involved in a first corner incident with Casey Stoner on lap eight and tumbled out, only to recover and finish fifth. And Czech Republic rookie Karel Abraham crashed in the same corner as Crutchlow but got back on his Ducati GP11 to finish seventh.
Coventry rider Crutchlow said: "I never thought I'd crash in MotoGP and still get a top ten! That was an unbelievable race and not one of the easiest I've had in my career. The conditions were so unpredictable that it was hard to get any grip and I was having lots of moments with the front and rear tyre, but so was everybody else. I could see people were making mistakes but I just tried to keep my head. When I got into fifth I felt pretty comfortable though I wanted it to rain again because the tyres were wearing pretty fast. I was gaining on Nicky really quick and he was in fourth, so there's no doubt the way I was catching him that I was thinking about a podium. I've nothing to lose so I was pushing and I went down at Turn 9. I actually lost the rear but then pushed the front and I was down. I'm not going to be too hard on myself crashing when I was battling for a podium in MotoGP. I'm happy because before this morning I'd never tried the bike in the rain, so to be where I was is a good sign. I was in the top ten in the wet and dry on a track I'd never seen before Thursday, so I'm making good progress."