After an exciting second round in Portimao which saw both Yamaha Sterilgarda WSB riders make good progress on their bike set up and development, the team are now gearing up for round three in Valencia this weekend. Moving forward from a difficult first round in Australia, round two saw big improvements in the 2010 bike with both riders making good use of the increased power available.
Crutchlow caught the attention of the paddock, impressing with a new Best Lap record in Superpole, knocking nearly half a second off last year’s time set by Ben Spies. The 25yr old British rider also took the first podium finish of the year for the team in the second race. Team-mate James Toseland made up for a less than perfect grid start position in both races, starting from 15th he pushed hard to break the top ten, delivering a 7th and then a 6th place finish.
The Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia is known to both riders, and with Toseland getting back to full fitness as his hand recovers, the weekend has the potential to deliver great results for the team.
Cal Crutchlow says: "After my podium at Portimao I’m keen to get to Valencia," said Cal Crutchlow. I think we can continue our good streak. I don’t know how the bike will be there as we used the 2009 bike in our winter test but I’m optimistic. Lots of the teams have tested there recently so we’ve got some work to do, but hopefully we’ll be up there and have a good result."
James Toseland says: "We’ve made massive improvements from Australia to Portugal," said James Toseland, "which obviously the podium from Cal proved. The second race in Portimao was particularly good for me, I had a really good race pace but couldn’t get to front which was disappointing as I started from too far back. The Valencia test went well in the winter and I’ve done a lot on the Spanish track compared to Portugal so I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting stuck in, being able to concentrate on the bike set up without having the added focus of learning the circuit."
Marcus Eschenbacher, Cal Crutchlow’s Crew Chief
"Valencia is one of the WSB circuits with the most stadium character, the track is flat and has some banked corners. The track conditions vary a lot so it is never certain what it will be. The infield is technical and physical for the riders, the last corner is particularly hard for the tyres over race distance so the track is more difficult than it appears. We made some adjustments to the bike in Portimao which Cal really liked, adding weight to the rear to improve the balance for him. We hope that we can find some new improvements again for the coming round."
Valencia technically speaking according to
"We had a successful test over the winter. We have continued to work extremely hard since Portimao to continue improving the electronics on the bike. Valencia is a very challenging circuit, a good front fork setting is important, and a good handling bike, as a lot of corners link together. We will start on a very similar setting to race two in Portimao, with the biggest change coming from a new electronic strategy for corner exit. James will be one step closer to full fitness, and hopefully with another step of improvement from the bike, we can be challenging at the front!"
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager
"Our test at Valencia over the winter went well. Following Portimao we will bring some more electronic updates for the bikes to the Spanish circuit in order to continue the progress we made from the first two rounds and be as competitive as possible. The electronics are our focus for development at the moment so these updates will include new maps for both James and Cal. Unfortunately the time is very short between these races but I am confident that we will get more improvements this weekend again."