|More green on the Tech3 livery, this year…?
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 squad had a steady first day of testing at the third official IRTA test, from Jerez. The weather conditions allowed a lot less developmental activity to occur throughout the morning, with Crutchlow not taking to the course on his M1 for the first several hours of the session.
Crutchlow, entering his third season in MotoGP, spent the majority of the day testing the hard compound Bridgestone rain tyre. After 19 laps overall, the Brit set a best time of 1m 49.692s, placing him 8th in the standings, just behind factory Ducati rider, Nicky Hayden. Tyre conservation seemed to be the aim of the game for most riders today, given that they were only granted 4 sets each, across the three day test in Jerez. “It’s a shame about the weather today and I didn’t decide to go out until the middle of the afternoon for a few laps. I ended up only doing 19 laps because I wanted to use only one set of tyres to keep some back for tomorrow when it looks like it will be raining again. The set I used today wore quite quickly but on the 800s we used a lot more lean angle and on the 1000 you have a lot more power going through the tyre and it is wearing faster. A lot of those in front of me put in a second set of tyres to go faster and I am sure if I’d done the same I’d have been much higher up. I was third after only five laps but I am not worried about the lap time. I tried a new setting for the rain that didn’t work so we went back to last year’s setting and I had a good feeling again. We will see what the weather brings for tomorrow but I am hoping we can get a bit of time in the dry before we pack up for the first race in Qatar.”
Team mate and rookie, Bradley Smith completed just 14 laps today on the slip and slide circuit, adjusting to the grip levels of the hard compound rain rear Bridgestone. The Oxfordshire man has 3 remaining sets of rain tyres, incase the weather is equally as tedious tomorrow. He finished 16th with a time of 1m 52.047s. “When you need as much dry track time as possible to build up experience, the last thing I wanted to see was conditions like today. Of course it is still good to get some time in the rain because that is also good experience for me but I only did two runs this afternoon. I was able to understand the bike quite quickly but the plan was always to use just one set of tyres today and keep the rest for tomorrow. With the tyres we have kept back for tomorrow it will mean I can have a lot of time on track to understand more about riding in the wet. I didn’t try and push too hard and I was quite cautious because the last thing I want to be doing is crashing. But I could understand the maximum lean grip, even with so much horsepower, was incredible. Tomorrow we will wait and see what happens with the weather but rain or shine I’ll be out on track trying to learn as much as possible because it is the experience on the bike that I am lacking.”