By Steve Carpenter 02/05 Updated: 02/05 15:33
CAL Crutchlow recorded his best ever performance at a MotoGP, finishing fourth at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
The Coventry-born rider was involved in a podium battle with Dani Pedrosa who pipped him in to third position.
It is Crutchlow's third fourth place finish in a row, which puts the 25-year-old fourth in the overall rankings this season.
"That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium," said Crutchlow.
"The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well and I can’t say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew.
"It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but they gave me a great bike and our decision to run the hard front was definitely the right one.
"One of the pleasing aspects is that I don’t really like Jerez that much.
"It’s a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic."
Crutchlow passed Yamaha teammate Andrea Dovizioso, and Nicky Hayden in quick succession with 19 laps remaining and embarked on a pursuit of Pedrosa for the remainder of the race.
And although he was unable to catch his rival, Crutchlow believes he has what it takes to make it onto the podium in Portugal this weekend.
He added: "I was fourth in Qatar but I could actually see the winner and there is no reason why I can’t be up there battling for the podium from now on.
"There will still be some races where I won’t be that close to the podium but now I know we can be there. I set the fastest lap of the race though, so that proves the progress I’ve made since last season."
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