Cal Crutchlow has paid tribute to fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo's "perfect" MotoGP title-winning campaign.
The Spaniard clinched his second world championship crown at Phillip Island, having finished either first or second in every grand prix bar one – at Assen, when he was wiped out at the first corner.
Crutchlow, riding for Yamaha's satellite Tech 3 squad, said he was a massively deserving champion.
"For Jorge, he made a perfect season: first or second every race," Crutchlow said. "You can't take this away from him. It's the perfect championship for Yamaha and for him."
The Briton, who claimed third in the Australian Grand Prix behind Lorenzo and runaway victor Casey Stoner, said he was delighted to be finishing his campaign on a strong note.
After threatening to land a breakthrough premier class podium several times in the early races, Crutchlow finally scored his first rostrum at Brno. Falls blighted three of his next four races, before he delivered his second career top three at the Australian circuit.
"[We've had] two very difficult races, so it's nice to finally be back, fighting near the front as best we can," Crutchlow said. "Obviously the gap to Casey was big because he was so fast but I was very pleased - we had a big gap to the guys behind and I could just ride around the last few laps quite confident and comfortable.
"I'm very pleased for the team. We work hard for this, so it's nice to be finishing the year in a strong position. Casey was unbelievable [and Lorenzo sealed the title], so congratulations to both of them."
With one race remaining, next weekend's Valencia finale, Crutchlow lies seventh in the standings, 14 points behind fifth-placed Alvaro Bautista.