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Crutchlow: I expected to finish fifth
8 February 2013
Britain's Cal Crutchlow concluded the official MotoGP test at Sepang with the only the top four factory Yamaha and Honda machines ahead of him.
Crutchlow's fifth place on the timesheets is exactly where the Tech 3 Yamaha rider says he expected to finish this week, with Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez the leading quartet.
His best lap of 2m 0.734s left him 0.6s behind Dani Pedrosa, who was fastest on each day of the three-day shakedown on his factory Repsol Honda RC213V.
“It has been a very positive week and I am where I expected to be and that's right behind the top four factory bikes,” said Crutchlow.
“I can't really ask for more than that and I'm pleased with my lap times because my bike is almost identical to the bike I rode last year.
“Today I was doing a lot of laps on old tyres and trying to stay consistent and I've improved,” he added.
“I also feel like I've made good progress in improving on the brakes, so it has been a productive test and good to be back on track after the winter break.”
With the first official test of 2013 done and dusted, Crutchlow believes the season ahead will be 'incredibly tough' and singled out his new Tech 3 teammate and fellow countryman Bradley Smith for special praise.
“I've built up my confidence each day but it is obvious that 2013 is going to be incredibly tough.
“There is some amazing talent on really good machinery but I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I'll be ready to give it 100 per cent as always and come the first race in Qatar I'll be ready to challenge. Credit to Bradley [Smith] as well because he has done a fantastic job this week.
“This was his first proper test in MotoGP and he has got faster and more confident each day,” added Crutchlow.
“I have been very impressed with him and it is going to be good being his teammate this season.”
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