Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow capped off an impressive pre-season by topping the timesheet at Jerez during a late flurry of activity on the final day of testing.
On a damp but rapidly drying track, Crutchlow posted a time of 1’39.511 on the combination of the medium front and soft rear slicks to edge out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi into second overall by just fourteenth-thousandths of a second.
The highest placed CRT rider at Jerez was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet whose time of 1’40.971 was 1.460 seconds off the pace and twelfth quickest overall.
A total of twenty-five riders took part in the Jerez test, with a wide range of weather conditions allowing teams to work on bike settings for wet and dry conditions.
Rain fell on each day of the test and track temperatures varied from a low of 13°C at the start of testing on Saturday to a peak of 32°C at 1400 on the second day of the test.
Sunday and Monday afternoon presented a track that was mainly dry but with damp patches with riders opting for the softer slick compounds during these periods for maximum grip and warm-up performance in the challenging conditions.
For the Jerez test, Bridgestone supplied the hard compound wet tyre, but long runs in wet conditions revealed that the abrasive surface of the Jerez circuit caused excessive wear for some riders.
In response, Bridgestone has changed its production schedule to ensure each rider will have two extra-hard compound rear wet tyres delivered for the Jerez race weekend that commences on May 3rd.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The weather conditions at Jerez were quite variable with lots of rain, but from our perspective this test gave us a lot of valuable data.
The long periods of wet weather allowed us to gather a lot of data on wet tyre performance at this circuit, and our analysis and rider feedback indicated that at this track with the 1000cc bikes, a wet tyre with more durability is required.
Consequently, we will provide each rider with two extra-hard rear wet tyres in their allocation for the Jerez race. Although the rain did stop on the last two days of the test, the state of track surface wasn’t ideal, so it was positive to see that riders were able to lap within the circuit record in the cool and damp conditions.
“Overall, I am pleased with what we achieved during our pre-season test programme and I’d like to thank all the riders and teams for their cooperation over the past couple of months. I am looking forward to the first race at Qatar and to what promises to be an exciting season.”