|Crutchlow is chasing the factory four.
Photo: Tech 3 Racing
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s British duo of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith have come away from the first official test of the season in Sepang feeling happy. Crutchlow ended up fifth fastest with a 2.00.734 and Smith ended eighth with a 2.01.093.
Crutchlow, having been a constant challenger for podiums in 2012 came into the test looking to be as close to the factory riders as possible. His fastest time was just over half a second slower than first placed man Pedrosa and just under half a second from the factory Yamahas of Lorenzo and Rossi. “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. 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. 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. 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. I’ll be ready to give it 100% as always and come the first race in Qatar I’ll be ready to challenge. Credit to Bradley as we ll 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. I have been very impressed with him and it is going to be good being his team mate this season.”