Britain's Cal Crutchlow has made a significant impression on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 at Sepang, despite his dislike of the Malaysian circuit.
Crutchlow recorded the seventh fastest time on the final day of the three-day test on his 1000cc Yamaha, escaping unscathed following a front-end crash at Turn 13 this morning.
The former World Supersport champion worked through a range of set-up options and although satisfied with his performance, Crutchlow is refusing to get carried away with the new season barely in its infancy.
“I am really pleased with the way things have gone at this test and it has been a really good confidence boost to start 2012. Sepang is a track I just don't get on with or enjoy riding at but I was third on the first day and fifth on the second day,” he said.
“I'm sure I could have been fifth on the final day too but a couple of things didn't go my way. I had a crash early on at Turn 13 when I basically ran wide and got on the dirty part of the track.
“It was my fault and that cost me a fair bit of track time and when I was confident I could go a lot quicker at the end it started raining. The pleasing aspect is my times have been consistent and that bodes well for the future.
“I'm not as fast as Stoner, Spies, Pedrosa or Lorenzo but for consistency I'm the best of the rest,” he added.
“The new 1000cc YZR-M1 has kept the strong points of the 800 with good corner entry and turning. But we do need to look at improving the bike on corner exit.
“Being in the top five on the first two days and not far away on the final day is a great start but I'm not going to get carried away.
“This is only the first test and while testing is really important, it is what happens in Qatar on April 8 that is really important.”
Crutchlow's time of 2m 1.108s put him one place ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (2m 1.257s) at the conclusion of the test.