ONE of the exciting battles in the MotoGP season opener at Qatar was between the Tech 3 pairing of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, a duel that went in the favour of the Briton.
Crutchlow continued his impressive form on the satellite Yamaha YZR-M1 to beat his new experienced Italian team-mate Andrea Dovizioso for fourth, after a race-long game of cat and mouse between the pair. The 26-year-old from Coventry shadowed Dovi before making the pass on lap 17, equalising his best finish in the MotoGP series.
“That was a great way to start the season but it was a really tough race," said Crutchlow. "I didn’t make a great start and lost a few positions and that is a bit disappointing because I’m sure I could have been much closer to the top three.
"I wouldn’t have been fighting with them but I lost a bit of time and the gap to them could have been halved. It was a great battle with Andrea and I enjoyed it. I learned a lot as well because he has a lot of experience and it was a game of cat and mouse for a long time.
"I knew I could pass him but I also knew that he would be able to sit right on my tail, so I just waited for the right moment and made a good move on Andrea.
"After that I just got my head down and concentrated on being consistent and not making a mistake so I didn’t give him a chance to pass me back.
"The good thing about tonight is I backed up all the good performances in winter testing and being close to the front with my best MotoGP race. I know I was fourth in Valencia last season but the conditions were tricky and not everybody finished."
The next round of the MotoGP season takes place at Jerez in three weeks time.
Click here for the 2012 MotoGP calendar.