After February's first testing opportunity in Sepang was cancelled, Cal Crutchlow will get his first taste of the 2021 M1 Yamaha at the MotoGP shakedown test in Qatar.

Crutchlow last rode for Yamaha in 2013 when he was part of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team. The Brit then spent one season with Ducati in 2014, before a move to LCR Honda where he has been until the end of last season.

Yamaha go into the new season with quite a lot of change, as Crutchlow takes the place of Jorge Lorenzo as test rider while Valentino Rossi and Fabio Quartararo effectively swapped seats. 

After three months away from riding on track, Crutchlow plans to use this time adapting to the 2021 M1 bike and building up his comfort level.  

"We have a long list with Yamaha of stuff to test but the first thing is for me to be able to ride the bike and get comfortable," said Crutchlow.

"These first three days will be about riding the Yamaha and for me to understand the bike. Yes, a motorcycle is a motorcycle but I’ve ridden something different for the last seven years.

"The first three days will be difficult because I will be sharing the bike with two other Japanese riders and we need to keep the settings the same, which will be very difficult, especially for me position-wise on the bike. So the handlebars, the ergonomics.

"We all have to keep the same so we can swap the bikes over the three days, so I think that will be very difficult but -then again- not too bad for me just to learn the bike."

After being with Honda for six seasons, which coincidently has been Yamaha's biggest rival, Crutchlow will be bringing valuable experience to the Japanese manufacturer.

Crutchlow added: My experience is one of the reasons they employed me to do this job. My experience of riding in MotoGP with different manufacturers and being able to race understanding different bikes.

"Yes, with Ducati I had a more difficult year but I was still on the podium and I was fast at the end of the season.

"I was fast with every bike I rode in MotoGP. Experience is one thing and being able to evaluate things: as you know, in my years with Honda, I did a lot of the testing and evaluating of the parts.

"I don’t need to bring secrets. There are no secrets. Yamaha have their own philosophy and Honda and Ducati have theirs. You bring experience and your own of working in teams and manufacturers but I don’t think people are ever looking to copy another bike because they all have their own DNA and philosophy."

 

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