Cal Crutchlow declares fourth in Qatar a great starting point for second MotoGP season

Cal Crutchlow declared himself content with fourth in the Qatar Grand Prix, even though he had fallen back from his front row starting position

Cal Crutchlow declares fourth in Qatar a great starting point for second MotoGP season

The Briton had qualified a MotoGP career-best third, but lost a lot of places off the line and then spent most of the race battling with Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate Andrea Dovizioso before passing the Italian for fourth.

"I think we've made a big improvement over the winter and coming into this season," Crutchlow told the official MotoGP website. "If someone would've said you're going to have a front row and a fourth position at the first race, I would've taken it. We'll work from here and see where we can go."

Although Crutchlow did not overtake Dovizioso until lap 17, he said he could have done so sooner if he felt it was worthwhile, but he could see leaders Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa were already out of reach.

"I should've got past Andrea a little bit earlier, but once the gap was there to the front guys, it was pointless going past early because you never would've caught them and probably would've wrecked the tyres," said Crutchlow.

He conceded that there was an unusual reason for his bad start.

"I couldn't touch the floor, because we'd moved the tank spacer back, and with my midget legs... my throttle was on 100 per cent so I completely fluffed the start," said Crutchlow. "My own fault."

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