Tech 3 Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow admits to feeling a little rusty at Sepang, even if the British star is right in the mix near the sharp end of the timesheets.
Crutchlow ended day two of the MotoGP test in Malaysia in fifth position with a best lap of 2m 01.311s on his satellite M1 putting him 0.7s behind Dani Pedrosa.
The 27-year-old spent the majority of the day working on a range of different settings to improve corner entry performance for the severe braking points from high speed into the first and last corner and the tight Turn 9.
“Today I mainly looked at improving the bike on corner entry and one setting was an improvement but we lost a bit of turning performance,” he said.
“This track has some severe braking points, particularly going into the first and last corner where you arrive in the braking zone while flat-out in sixth gear.
“We need to keep the rear tyre more on the floor at corner entry, so it was good to try and get more rear grip to help me enter the corner without the rear sliding too much.
“I've still got a few tenths to find but it seems on used tyres I'm around the same pace as Valentino [Rossi] and that's positive but I still feel a little bit rusty after the winter lay-off.”
Crutchlow is also aiming to develop a close partnership with his new Japanese engineer, who worked with Andrea Dovizioso
“Another key target for this test is to get a good understanding with my new Japanese engineer from Yamaha,” he said.
“He worked with Andrea [Dovizioso] last year and we just need time to understand how he works.
“We are working closely together and I am looking forward to his input.”