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Crutchlow ends Sepang test with fifth fastest time

'I like the new engine from Yamaha and credit to them because they have been working hard and the improvement bodes well for the start of the season' - Cal Crutchlow
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 star Cal Crutchlow ended the final day of the second Sepang MotoGP test just 0.1s behind factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo on his satellite YZR-M1.

Crutchlow, who admits he is no fan of the Malaysian circuit, was fifth fastest overall as he maintains his promising pre-season form on the 1000cc Yamaha.

“I am really happy because the weather obviously played a big part the first two days but we were able to get some dry track time today and make some good progress with the bike. I like the new engine from Yamaha and credit to them because they have been working hard and the improvement bodes well for the start of the season,” he said.

“I'm happy with my lap time because this is not my favourite track at all and I am fifth fastest and very close to the top three. A major positive too is that I am very consistent and this is something that I have improved from last year.

“This gives me a lot of confidence and encouragement and I'm really enjoying riding the 1000cc bike. I did a long run of 12 laps and the new tyres were sliding around quite a bit,” he added.

“It made it very physical but quite good and it looks like tyre management is going to be more important than ever. The bike is working well at Sepang but now I'm curious to see how it performs in Jerez.

“That's a completely different track and the weather will be much cooler, so this will give us another indication of the potential of the bike.”

Related Pictures

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Crutchlow, Sepang MotoGP test, 28th Feb-1st March 2012
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March 01, 2012 10:13 PM

What's encouraging for Tech 3 is that both their riders are very quick on a machine that is still a generation down from the factory bike (Dovi & Cal only got the engine that the 2 factory riders used at the last Sepang test). None of the developments in chassis or electronics seem to be filtering down yet. That suggests that this year's R1 is a very competitive machine straight out of the box, and it should continue to improve as parts are passed down from the factory team. I really hope that Yamaha are encouraged to provide better season-long support this time, because their satellite riders could really help to threaten Honda's team dominance.


March 02, 2012 5:58 AM
Last Edited 1967 days ago

Fair enough Don. Without some serious googling I can't cite such specific comments to back up my statement, so I'll happily defer to your assessment. I'm still quite certain I recall reading at least one article which stated all Yamaha riders were testing the same new engine at Sepang 2. But like I said, you have the more compelling evidence at hand. Regardless, I can absolutely provide news article proof that both Spies and Lorenzo didn't feel the new engine was the particularly big step. Rather it was the electronics updates. Having said that, whether Dovi and Cruthlow got those electronic updates I cannot say. My main point however, remains. That the satellite Yams have over the past couple of years at least, been closer to factory spec than their fellow Japanese, and their Italian counterparts.

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