It's fair to say that depending on rule changes etc, the PBM1 is the future and the goal for the team. It's possible that the existing chassis will be run with customer prototype spec engines next season. The current Aprilia motor is making something like 210bhp whereas the prototype motor would be more like 250 to 260 and the customer spec one might have a slight reduction from the full factory.
There are some great teams in CRT, well-funded, with great equipment and personnel so I feel that the supply of good customer motors could be the answer to getting CRT fighting with the main prototypes.
Often the CRT chassis and electronics are great and the only thing that's missing is the power, you're not going to beat HRC but you would be closer.
I've scored the same number of points as Yonny so I feel I've done a reasonable job considering it a new bike on circuits new to me. We're now consistently third/fourth CRT behind Barbera and Aoyama and we now need to get closer to the Aspar guys.
At the end of the Jerez race you were running at about Espargaro's pace, but not so fast at the beginning?
I think that came from one of my strengths of keeping the pace consistent, but we're not maximizing the set-up of the bike for new tyres. I still need to understand how to get those extra 3 or 4 tenths out of the new tyres. But from half distance to the end of the race I hardly lost anything to Espargaro.
How are you adapting to a MotoGP style of riding, having come from Superbikes?
I was aware of the different kind of technique required and my riding style lends itself quite well to that because I grew up on 125cc two-strokes and raced a 500cc V-twin in the Irish championship.
It's always been an underlying thing for me on Superbikes where I put a little too much force through the front tyre and have too much entry speed, but once I got on the GP bike it actually needs a bit more of that. It was harder for me to initially adapt to a Superbike, in comparison riding the GP machine feels natural.
I think the biggest thing you need to get used to is the braking distance because of the non-deforming Bridgestone tyres and carbon brakes, you can stop so late into a corner it's untrue. The GP bike does have a slightly more knife edge feel than a Superbike
Learning the tyres and carbon brakes took a couple of days in Sepang and once I got my head around them it felt quite comfortable. I've gone about the testing in a calm and methodical manner though rather than going at it like a bull at a gate.
Once I got my head around the tyres, I quite like them, they're probably the grippiest and best tyres I've ever used. They give great lean angles. You've just got to be careful about getting heat into the Bridgestones before using them though.