The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo of Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards took to the Estoril track on Monday, less than 24 hours after a stunning double top 10 finish, for the official MotoGP test. The riders used the extra track time to test a variety of new parts and setups to help further their progress up the grid.
For Crutchlow, he changed the height of his handlebars and also changed the wheelbase on his Yamaha M1 machine, and these settings helped the Englishman set a time that was 2 seconds faster than the fastest lap set on his way to claiming 8th in the Portuguese Grand Prix.
“Today was really positive and I can’t really ask for much more than finishing fourth quickest with only three of the fastest riders in the world in front of me.” said Cal, “I was able to lap nearly two seconds faster than I did in the race but I was quietly confident that the changes we planned to make for today would mean I could go a lot faster. Losing so much track time because of the weather at the weekend meant I couldn’t risk taking a gamble on making too many changes for the race. I honestly didn’t expect to break into the 36s but I felt comfortable and even with 25-laps on the same set of tyres I was doing low to mid-37s.”
He continues, “I know everyone goes faster in a test but my time today was faster than Dani Pedrosa’s best lap in the race and he won, so my pace bodes well for the future. We moved the handlebars and lengthened the wheelbase and I just felt much more comfortable. The bike was a lot easier to ride and much less aggressive and I was fast throughout the whole day. If I’d had this set-up for the race I’m sure I could have had a battle with Colin, and he was sixth, so that’s really encouraging. I can’t wait for Le Mans now. It is the home race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and today’s result has given me a lot of confidence that I can be competitive again on another track I have to learn from scratch.”
Colin Edwards used the test to test new suspension settings in order to improve rear grip on his M1 machine, and the veteran was able to lap well within the top 3 for most of the session, with his best time eventually landing him 6th on the timesheet.
“It was a really positive test and it was good to get an opportunity to have a play around with some different settings that you don’t necessarily get chance to try over the race weekend.” said Colin “We just concentrated all our effort on finding some rear traction and i t felt like we’ve made a big step. We tried various different combinations for the rear shock and linkages and we’ve found a good direction and we definitely made it better than it was for the race, so hopefully we found a set-up that will help us at the next race in Le Mans.”
He continued by evaluating the new Bridgestone tyre, that both riders tested, which will be the MotoGP tyre for 2012. “I really like the direction Bridgestone is going in for 2012. I felt comfortable immediately on the new tyres and they’ve done some phenomenal work. Right from the first lap you get a lot of understanding and feel. The lap time was pretty similar with both and I’d love to have them this year. Based on what we’ve figured out today and the improvements we’ve made, I’m looking forward to going to France and getting another top six finish for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in its home race.”