Positive start to 2011 for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team concluded a successful start to preparations for the 2011 MotoGP world championship today with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow satisfied with significant progress made at the end of a three-day test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.
Experienced American Edwards took full advantage of dry conditions throughout the test to evaluate a host of new upgrades on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine. The 36-year-old completed 125 laps, working closely with his crew to assess a revised engine, chassis and electronics package he will campaign in 2011.
Edwards ended with a best time of 2.01.651 to finish ninth overall, the Sepang test highlighting just how competitive the 2011 World Championship is likely to be with the top ten riders split by just over one second.
Crutchlow was also buoyed by his hugely encouraging performance, the British rider clocking a best time of 2.02.717 to finish 17th on the final timesheets in what turned out to be a productive second test with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.
Crutchlow was able to quickly master the long and technical Sepang circuit he'd never seen before and he overcame constant discomfort in his left shoulder following pre-Christmas surgery to expertly build up his confidence and speed with his YZR-M1 machine.
Crutchlow made a brilliant recovery from a high-speed crash on the second afternoon to knock nearly 1.3s off his time from the first day, as he completed 127 laps by the time the test reached its climax. Edwards and Crutchlow will back on track at Sepang on February 22 for the second of three pre-season tests ahead of the first race in Qatar on March 20.
Colin Edwards 9th -- 2.01.651
"It was good to get back to work with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I am really happy with the development that Yamaha has done on the bike for 2011. It has improved in every area and it was great to get back up to speed so quickly and post consistent and competitive lap times on each day. The engine is a big improvement in terms of power and the chassis helps me turn much better than I could before, so in all aspects I am happy and confident that I can have a strong season. Looking at the field there is some unbelievable talent but I feel really motivated to repeat some of the strong results I had in 2009. It is not going to be an easy task but I am sure with the help of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team it is not unrealistic to fight for the top six. I'm looking forward to being back on the back again later this month so we can fine-tune the package ahead of the first race."
Cal Crutchlow 17th -- 2.02.717
"I am happy with the test because I am still learning so much but I was able to run a consistent pace and drop my lap times on each day. I'm on a big learning curve and I wasn't looking for pure speed. I'd never ridden at this track before and it is certainly a tough place to learn quickly. All the other guys have done millions of laps around here and I just need to build up my experience. I've got to improve in every area but I'm happy and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team are happy too. My times are in the ballpark of those set in last year's race and that's pleasing considering everything is still so new for me and I wasn't in peak physical condition because of my shoulder. I need to improve in the braking area and also step up my pace on the hard Bridgestone tyre, but I feel I'm getting more comfortable with the bike. I've been looking at loads of data and when we return later this month I'll continue trying to adapt my style. I'm still riding the bike too much like a superbike, but I'm pleased that I'm progressing and getting faster."
-source: tech 3