Cal Crutchlow has officially begun the preparations for his MotoGP debut after undergoing a private test session aboard the Yamaha M1 in Japan.
The World Superbike graduate will compete with the Tech 3 Yamaha team in 2011, but got a chance to sample the M1 before he makes his group test debut at Valencia next month by riding the machine at the manufacturer's own facility in Fukuroi, Japan.
An opportunity for him to get acquainted with the M1 and begin adapting from the Supersport and Superbike machines he has established his career on to date, Crutchlow is confident he will be well suited to MotoGP.
“The M1 felt a lot smaller than my Yamaha R1 superbike,” he said. “I actually found the positioning more comfortable than the WSB machine. There is a lot of power but it feels very useable, it felt very different to a production based machine in terms of its delivery.
“In the wet we used the normal steel brakes but when it started to dry I had a chance to try the carbon ones which were cool, I managed to get quite comfortable with them. I found the chassis very stiff, it was really easy to change direction and the electronics were really different, even more advanced than the high level I'm used to in Superbike!
“It was a shame the weather wasn't great so I wasn't able to push to the bike's full potential, I'm really looking forward to the Valencia test so I can get back on it and give it a proper work out!”
Crutchlow will take the place of factory Yamaha-bound Ben Spies at Tech 3 and join Colin Edwards in the satellite outfit.