CAL Crutchlow tasted a rare moment of success in Aragon after claiming his first podium finish of the season.
The Coventry-born rider finished third for Ducati in Round 14 of what has been a largely disappointing 2014 World Championship for the 28-year-old.
Crutchlow has failed to finish five races so far and his best position heading into Sunday’s Grand Prix was sixth in the season opener in Qatar.
But after starting from row two Crutchlow decided to change bikes on lap 18 while in eighth position in the pouring rain which allowed him to move up to third and he came within a whisker of snatching second place away from Aleix Espargarò but the Spanish rider did just enough to take second 17/1000ths of a second ahead.
“Obviously we got very lucky with the conditions, but it was the same for everyone so I don’t really care
“I am pleased with the work that the guys have done, we are in better shape than what we were, even in the dry.
“A great job by Ducati, they haven’t given up with me and I haven’t given up with them and I think that shows week in and week out, even when the results haven’t been good.
“I got a wheelie coming out of the last corner because I hit the white paint, and I probably would have got Aleix on the line for second if I had been able to change gear in time!”
The race in Aragon produced a number of surprises due to the rain, which began to fall half-way through the 23-lap race, first lightly then increasing in intensity during the final stages.
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was not so fortunate with the Italian crashing out on lap 19 while in fourth position when rain started to fall heavily at the MotorLand circuit.
Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse general manager, added: “We are really happy with Cal’s podium, because up to now he’s had a difficult season despite his and the entire team’s commitment.
“He really deserved that result! It’s a pity about Andrea’s crash, he was running a good race and could probably have got a podium as well.”