The third and final day of MotoGP
preseason testing at Jerez ended with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow
at the top of the timesheet. The British rider put in the best lap of the session late in the day, beating out Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi
by two-tenths of a second. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl was third-fastest, followed by Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo
, in fourth. As was the case on Day 2, early morning rains kept riders from turning laps until the afternoon. Day 3 was particularly stunted, with just an hour-and-a-half dry track time before the end of the session.
“It is obviously very satisfying to finish the test with the fastest time because it shows what a really good job I did and what a great job my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did too,” said Crutchlow. “It is a shame we didn't get the chance to get in a lot more dry laps but I have been very fast and consistent and that gives me a lot of confidence for when we return to Jerez for the third race. This morning's rain meant the track wasn't in a great condition in the last two hours and I felt I could have definitely gone faster if there was more grip available. But it is the same for everybody and we came out on top, so that's positive.”
Rossi continued to run near the top of the field and spent his 30 laps testing a 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,” said Rossi. “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.”
Stefan Bradl pushing to post the third-fastest time on Day 3 of
preseason testing at Jerez.
Bradl used the limited track time to confirm his set-up ahead of the season opener at Losail. Lorenzo took advantage of the drying circuit to test his M1 over the course of a race distance, gaining better feel for his machine on worn tires.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez trailed Lorenzo by a minuscule margin in fifth. The rookie GP rider ventured out in the morning wet to gain more information on his bike’s performance in slick conditions.
"It was dry and sunny this morning then at around 10:30 it began to rain quite heavily,” said Marquez. “We put in some laps to understand a few things in these conditions as we had some problems in the wet on the first day, so this was helpful as we found some answers. Everybody was waiting for the track to dry out and although it was a little cold, the last hour was good. It was useful to test some things and I feel much better than yesterday, we made some improvements, especially in our consistency and with electronics.”
Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone ended the session in sixth, followed by Factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden
. Hayden’s teammate, Andrea Dovizioso
was eighth-fastest and had Ducati Test rider Michele Pirro close behind in ninth. Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet led the CRT charge, placing 10th, while Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, ended his long day in 11th. Smith logged 25 laps on the saturated track in the morning and then put in an additional 31 laps in the afternoon.
“The really important aspect of today was that I did eventually get some dry time on track,” said Smith. “I was reasonably happy with my performance in the wet because it is all about building my experience of the bike and tires in those conditions. But I was really happy the track dried because I badly need seat time and the weather has definitely not helped my preparations. I'm still searching for a base setting but we have it clear the direction we need to move in with the bike and that's to move away from what Andrea Dovizioso used and make the bike more like how Cal has his. I'm gradually getting more comfortable and at this test I've followed Cal, Jorge and Valentino to get a really understanding of how the Yamaha needs to be ridden.”
One rider noticeably absent from proceedings was Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa
. The Spaniard was at the circuit first thing in the morning, but opted to sit out and rest his neck, which started to pain him late in the session on Day 2. Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies
also opted out of testing on the final day, as did Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who crashed during Day 2.
American rider, Colin Edwards of NGM Mobile Forward Racing, finished his final day of testing near the bottom of the timesheet, in 21st, but claims progress has been made on his FTR-Kawasaki machine.
“All done with preseason testing and overall feeling happy,” said Edwards. “As far as the bike is concerned the bike, the chassis is fantastic. We have done a lot of work in a short amount of time to figure out a good balance. What worked in Malaysia we had to change a little bit here, Jerez always seems to be a bit particular on bike setting. In terms of the engine, we’ve come off from our first test, got a better unit and the exhaust as well, so we have added a little power. We have been mainly playing with electronics, really trying to figure out traction control and yesterday we ultimately found something that we can always improve, but right now it’s comfortable.”
The first race of 2013 is set for April 7th at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
MotoGP Jerez Test Day 3 Results 2013:
1. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’39.511
2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’39.735
3. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’39.975
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’40.105
5. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’40.130
6. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1’40.331
7. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’40.370
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’40.516
9. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1’40.881
10. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1’40.971
11. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’41.134
12. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1’41.218
13. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’41.443
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’41.772
15. Lukas Pesek (Suter-BMW) 1’41.791
16. Karel Abraham (ART) 1’41.864
17. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1’42.363
18. Danilo Petrucci (Suter-BMW) 1’42.428
19. Michael Laverty (ART) 1’42.470
20. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 1’43.525
21. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’56.281
22. Hector Barbera (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’56.897