Monster Yamaha's Cal Cruchlow has showered praise on nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, saying the Italian rode an 'incredible race' to finish fifth in yesterday's Mugello MotoGP round and score his best dry-weather result with Ducati in the process.
After a bad start from the second row, Crutchlow tucked in behind The Doctor and spent laps studying Rossi's racecraft and braking performance, saying it was amazing how consistent Rossi is while the pair set about reeling in their respective team-mates who were some ten seconds up the road.
"He rode an incredible race to keep pushing like that and stay so consistent. We were doing mid-48s for 15 laps at least. I was a lot faster in the last sector and could have passed him but we were coming across the gap (to Hayden) just fine, if I would have passed him, he would have passed me back down the straight and we would have ended up taking time out of each other," said Crutchlow, speaking to bikesportnews.com
"Valentino is never going to give in and he would have passed into the first corner because he was strong but if we had jostled for position we wouldn't have made it across the gap. I didn't feel I had enough straight-line speed to break away from him. I had planned to pass him in the last couple of laps, but then he passed Nicky and I didn't until the last corner.
"I learned a lot in the race. You think Valentino is never going to stop for the corner, and then he does. His racecraft is second to none. We lost eight seconds to Dovi in the first laps and finished one second behind him. Rossi rides like a nine-time world champion."