|Cal struggled with grip again, but was able to finish in the top three
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow set the third fastest time on the second day of the Sepang test this morning, proving he has the pace to fight for podiums in 2013.
Following Tuesday afternoon’s washout, Crutchlow made the most of dry track time and completed 59 laps of the Sepang International Circuit in 80% humidity. He managed to trim massive 1.3 seconds off yesterday’s time on the improved track conditions; Cal set a time of 2.00.907 which put him in third place, but felt he could have done more. ‘There didn’t seem to be a lot of grip out there again today although the lap times have improved a lot. We tried something different with the front fork setting, which was in a similar direction to what Jorge (Lorenzo) uses and there were some good and bad points like with most things you test. I’m happy with my pace because we’ve tried a couple of different settings and we need to work on fine-tuning the best one. The main goal has been trying to stop the front of the bike lifting so much when I change direction on the throttle. The bike feels quite heavy so we need to reduce how much the fork comes up without sacrificing too much in another area like the braking. I’m sure if I had put in some new tyres at the start of the day I could have gone faster. But I waited to use mine around lunch and I still went faster, even though the track temperature was much higher at that point. I’m not really too concerned about the times though. I’m just concentrating on making the package we have got better for the first race in Qatar.”
Teammate and MotoGP rookie Bradley Smith bounced back from his small crash yesterday, finishing in the top ten for the second day running.
Still getting used to the powerful YZR-M1 machine, Smith set a time of 2.02.369 and is begining to find a setting his comfortable with for the upcoming season. “After the crash yesterday I am feeling much happier today, though I’m a little bit wary of some things that happen with the front and that can play on your mind a little bit. But the track has more grip and my feeling with the bike is much better. Today I worked a lot on my braking technique because I’m being too cautious at the moment and not using the carbon brakes as they need to be used. We played around with some different settings today too just to gain more of an understanding about what direction we can take in the future if we have certain problems. I think Jorge is doing exceptionally well riding around consistently in the 2.00 bracket because all of the other guys seem to be in the 2.01s. He is on another level at the moment but to be honest I feel quite good doing consistent 2.02s. We are working for Qatar and the first race rather than lap times now. It is not easy that’s for sure but I am confident soon it will start clicking into place and we will start rolling forward.”