Yamaha’s Crutchlow Leads Rossi in Jerez MotoGP Test

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow

2013 Jerez Preseason MotoGP Testing Day 3 Results

Yamaha has shown what its YZR-M1 is capable off once again at final preseason MotoGP test at Jerez ahead of the season opener at Qatar April 7.

The three-day test, which got underway Saturday and finished Monday, was dominated by Yamaha, with factory rider Jorge Lorenzo leading on Saturday, and the Spaniard’s teammate Valentino Rossi leading on Sunday.

And when Monday’s session was complete, the day again plagued by rain as in Saturday's and Sunday's sessions, it was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow who topped the time sheets. The Brit finished 0.224 ahead of nine-time World Champion Rossi, and 0.464 ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl.

During the driest of Monday’s afternoon session, Crutchlow’s fastest lap was a 1:39.511 – the quickest of all three days. Some riders chose not to ride Monday, including Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, so the focus from here on will be of all three days combined.

For combined times Crutchlow was just 0.014 of a second ahead of Rossi, and 0.029 of a second ahead of two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “We did some decent lap times and in the end we ran quite consistently, I was pleased. I feel good. It’s disappointing to manage no more than 70 dry laps over three days, but to be at this pace is good and I think everybody is in a similar boat.

“I think it is very difficult to beat the Hondas of Dani (Pedrosa) and Marc (Márquez) at the moment. I think their package is stronger. We know Dani is obviously very confident because he went home today – so he is happy with the bike! We are still working very hard with the Yamaha, but it’s going to be a big battle in Qatar.”

The Yamaha Factory Racing duo also commented on the three-day test.

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: "I’m so happy because at the end of today’s session we had some quite good conditions to make some laps in the dry and especially because for us it was very important to try the new chassis.

"The feeling is generally ok; I was able to be competitive in difficult conditions and I also made good lap times with the used tire. The new chassis has some good and bad points but I think I will start the season with the one I used yesterday and test this one again during the season. I am happy about the test; I was competitive all three days so I am looking forward to going to Qatar.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: "We didn't think we would practice so much today because the weather was so bad but finally we had two hours to practice and improve some things on the bike. I made a long run that I think was positive to understand the behavior of the bike with old tires. We are not the fastest but I think we are very consistent.

"It’s been a positive test for us to gain some motivation after Austin; that was a difficult three days. It shows that every track is a different world so let’s see what happens in Qatar. There can be a lot of sand on the track there so we’ll see how it is. Like every year you feel a little nervous at the beginning, it’s so important to start in a good way and get some points!”

The fastest Honda RC213 of all three days went to Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa, who trailed Crutchlow by 0.119 of a second. Pedrosa attributed neck pain as one of the reasons for not testing Monday, the pain first beginning during the private testing at Circuit of the Americas in Austin two weeks ago.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: "This morning was sunny but by the time we got to the track the clouds had started to arrive. I was discussing the programme for the day with my team and it started to rain. We decided that we had nothing new to test in these conditions ─even if it started to dry up this afternoon, and we are happy with the machine. On top of that, I felt the pain in my neck again yesterday and would prefer to rest it in time for Qatar. We've done a lot of testing this winter and now we are ready to go racing, I can't wait to start the season!"

Bradl was the next quickest of all three days, the German 0.464 of a second off Crutchlow’s time. The German suffered a crash during the testing, as did GO&FUN Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, who busted up some fingers during a wreck on Sunday.

Bradl was followed by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the rookie who led all three days of private testing in Austin trailing Crutchlow by 0.619 of a second.

The quickest Ducati rider of all three days was Andrea Dovizioso. The Ducati Team GP13 rider posted a 1:40.322, which was 0.811 of a second off Crutchlow’s time. Two Ducati prototypes followed in overall times – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden.

The American Hayden was 0.859 of a second off Crutchlow’s time, and the final rider to post within a second of the satellite Yamaha rider. Rounding out the top 10 was Bautista, with top CRT efforts going to Randy de Puniet. The Power Electronics Aspar rider was 1.460 off the top time.

Speaking of the overall times, MotoGP reports “at the end of this year’s pre-season period the pack is separated by 2.9 seconds, which compared to last year’s margin brings the pack over a second closer together. The top ten is also more bunched up, with the 2012 gap of 1.3 seconds having now been reduced to 1.1.”

The 2013 MotoGP Championship gets underway Thursday, April 4, with the first practice session for the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar on Sunday, April 7, the first of 18 rounds.

2013 Jerez Preseason MotoGP Test Results (Combined Times):

Pos Rider Team Fastest lap Gap No. of laps
1 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’39.511   93
2 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1’39.525 0.014 114
3 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1’39.540 0.029 115
4 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’39.630 0.119 61
5 Stefan BRADL LCR Honda MotoGP 1’39.975 0.464 91
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’40.130 0.619 108
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’40.322 0.811 82
8 Andrea IANNONE Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 1’40.331 0.820 67
9 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team 1’40.370 0.859 97
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1’40.686 1.175 66
11 Michele PIRRO Ducati Test Team 1’40.881 1.370 124
12 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar 1’40.971 1.460 58
13 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’41.134 1.623 111
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar 1’41.218 1.707 87
15 Hector BARBERA Avintia Blusens 1’41.376 1.865 47
16 Claudio CORTI NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’41.443 1.932 105
17 Danilo PETRUCCI Came IodaRacing Project 1’41.529 2.018 68
18 Ben SPIES Ignite Pramac Racing Team 1’41.702 2.191 47
19 Hiroshi AOYAMA Avintia Blusens 1’41.772 2.261 122
20 Lukas PESEK Came IodaRacing Project 1’41.791 2.280 99
21 Karel ABRAHAM Cardion AB Motoracing 1’41.864 2.353 97
22 Yonny HERNANDEZ Paul Bird Motorsport 1’42.050 2.539 88
23 Bryan STARING GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1’42.107 2.596 117
24 Colin EDWARDS NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1’42.154 2.643 64
25 Michael LAVERTY Paul Bird Motorsport 1’42.470 2.959 69



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