Cal Crutchlow believes he had the pace in his Tech 3 Yamaha to finish fastest of all at the end of the second pre-season test in Malaysia. The Briton was sixth on the last day, blaming traffic for his failure to go quicker than 2:01.094 and also feels there is time to be found under braking which will enable him to take the fight to the factory teams this year.

“I am leaving this test in a positive frame of mind because I am fourth overall and although I was only sixth quickest today I actually think I could have been fastest. When everybody was pushing hard for a fast lap time at the end of the day I got held up on every lap but I am not worried about that. We have worked very hard this week to improve our package and today we gained more valuable information. I still lose a bit in the braking area and rolling into the corner. We tried to improve that but made the braking worse. But when we make the braking better we have no grip. So it is finding a compromise. We tried two different settings on the different bikes and one was better for braking and the other one was better for grip, so we need to find the best of both and put them together. I am not that far off the top three and they are all on factory machinery, so that is encouraging. To be fourth overall is very positive and I definitely think we are in the mix. My target was to be close to the factory guys and we are not too far away.”

Teammate Bradley Smith solidly established himself in the top ten over the three days of running and is confident he is starting to find a direction with the YR-M1 that suits him with one more pre-season test to go.

“I leave this second test in Sepang positive because I know a lot more about the bike when I first got here. I sat in the garage when everybody was in time attack mode at the end and pushing for a fast lap on a new tyre. It is not that I didn’t want to go for the lap time but we are just trying to go step-by-step at the moment and look at the bigger picture. I still don’t believe that we have a base setting for me to ride but at least we have a direction of which way I prefer. Luckily for us it is towards the way Andrea Dovizioso went last year and that’s positive because we have got a whole load of data and experience from working with him. This is only day two of really modifying the set-up of the bike, so in terms of development we still have a lot to do. I would say we are in a lot better position now than I was at the last test although we haven’t gone faster. Now I am looking forward to working on the YZR-M1 at a different track when we go to Jerez for the final test.”