Having impressed in the dry during winter testing, Cal Crutchlow made an equally promising wet 1000cc debut during day two of the final pre-season test at Jerez.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, fifth fastest in breezy but dry conditions on Friday, was slower than only factory stars Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in the wet – and felt he could have gone top had he fitted a new tyre.
“I've never ridden the 1000 in the rain so it was important to get a few laps under my belt today,” said Crutchlow. “I only did 16-laps though because it is pointless taking too many risks with the first race so close.
“The surface wasn't actually completely wet when I was out because this track dries so quickly but the first impression of the bike in the wet is really positive. With the extra power it is challenging to ride but I don't think more difficult than the 800.
"Our chassis is quite similar to the 800, so it felt similar but the 1000 bike is definitely a handful. It is a handful to ride in the dry, so it is the same in the wet but I enjoyed it.
“The big positive today is I only used one set of rain tyres and I think some of the others used three. I think if I had put in a new tyre I could have been fastest in the rain.
“Hopefully the weather is much better tomorrow because I've got a few things to try. I was fast yesterday without trying the new Bridgestone front tyres, so I think there is some time to be gained with those."
Crutchlow dropped back to 14th after choosing not to try slick tyres during a small window of dry track time at the end of the day.
Team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who struggled with a stomach bug on day one, made his second wet M1 appearance and also elected not to use slicks.