Britain's Cal Crutchlow says fans are in for a treat this season based on the early indications from the opening day of the MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia.
Crutchlow tested an updated version of the Yamaha YZR M1 engine and concluded day one of the three-day shakedown in sixth place with a lap of 2m 01.881s, 0.724s behind pacesetter Dani Pedrosa on the Repsol Honda.
The Tech 3 rider, who earned his first podium finishes in MotoGP during a successful campaign in 2012 for the satellite Yamaha outfit, also worked on perfecting his braking technique – an area the 27-year-old intends to improve on this season.
With Valentino Rossi demonstrating he retains all his old magic following his return to Yamaha and exciting prospect and MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez making an immediate impact for Honda as Casey Stoner's replacement, Crutchlow expects fireworks in 2013.
“It is clear looking at the top of the timesheets that it is going to be a fantastic season in MotoGP,” he said.
“I think any of us that finished in the top seven today will have a shot at winning a race and I think the fans are going to be treated to some fantastic racing.
“It was good to be back on the bike again after a couple of months away. I'm happy enough because initially it is all about getting the feeling back after a while off the bike.
“It is difficult for me coming to Sepang because it is not my favourite circuit but I am pleased and it has been a good start,” he added.
“I haven't got too many updates to try on the bike but hopefully I've got some things to try later this week.
“I've been working more on tweaking my style a bit more today, particularly in the braking area to get the bike stopped better, which was an area I know I have to improve on for this season.”