Positive start to 2012 for Crutchlow and Dovizioso
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team made a positive start to preparations for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship after a three-day test session at the Sepang International Circuit, which reached a successful conclusion today.
British rider Cal Crutchlow wasted no time in getting back up to speed to clock the third fastest time on the opening day and he was one of the outstanding performers for the duration of the test.
Making only his second appearance on Yamaha's 1000cc machine, Crutchlow worked through a range of set-up options to improve his speed and confidence with the all-new YZR-M1. He walked away unhurt from a small front-end crash at Turn 13 on the final morning and he eventually finished with a quickest time of 2.01.108.
Andrea Dovizioso demonstrated his determination to quickly get to grips with the YZR-M1, with the Italian rider giving his absolute maximum effort just three weeks after he broke his right collarbone in a motocross training accident. The intense heat and humidity always makes riding at the Sepang International Circuit a tough physical examination, but Dovizioso also had to contend with the pain and discomfort from his recovering right collarbone to complete 102 crucial development laps on board the YZR-M1. He set a best time of 2.01.257 to finish just behind Crutchlow on the leaderboard.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team continues its pre-season testing campaign back at the Sepang International Circuit for another three-day test, which commences on February 28.
Cal Crutchlow - 2.01.108:
“I am really pleased with the way things have gone at this test and it has been a really good confidence boost to start 2012. Sepang is a track I just don't get on with or enjoy riding at but I was third on the first day and fifth on the second day. I'm sure I could have been fifth on the final day too but a couple of things didn't go my way. I had a crash early on at Turn 13 when I basically ran wide and got on the dirty part of the track. It was my fault and that cost me a fair bit of track time and when I was confident I could go a lot quicker at the end it started raining. The pleasing aspect is my times have been consistent and that bodes well for the future. I'm not as fast as Stoner, Spies, Pedrosa or Lorenzo but for consistency I'm the best of the rest. The new 1000cc YZR-M1 has kept the strong points of the 800 with good corner entry and turning. But we do need to look at improving the bike on corner exit. Being in the top five on the first two days and not far away on the final day is a great start but I'm not going to get carried away. This is only the first test and while testing is really important, it is what happens in Qatar on April 8 that is really important.”
Andrea Dovizioso – 2.01.257:
“I am really happy just to have been able to come to this test and ride because beforehand a lot of people said it would be impossible. The collarbone was very badly broken but this test is very important and I want to thank everybody that helped me in my recuperation in Italy that made it possible for me to ride. You can do a lot of good work here even if it is very bad for my body, but I am happy because I could ride on each day and my feeling with the Yamaha is coming much better than the first time I tried the bike in Valencia. I understood much more about this bike here and what I realise is that I have to change my style more. There is a big difference in the characteristic of the Yamaha and the Honda I rode for the last four years, so I have to learn to use the good points of the M1 more. But it was not so easy riding in my physical condition. Braking for the right-hand corners was hard but changing direction was an issue because I don't have 100% strength. I am looking forward to the next test now where I will be a lot closer to being 100% fit.”