Cal Crutchlow thought he’d performed as well as he realistically could have done on a low-grip track surface at Sepang. The Briton ended day one of the second pre-season test in sixth place but with sweltering heat pushing track temperatures through the roof, Crutchlow didn’t feel much could be learned from his 28 laps.
“I’m happy enough with today because all you could do was ride around to the grip that was available. This morning the track condition wasn’t good at all. It was greasy and the heat was just making it worse and you can see the lap times are a fair way off what we were doing here only recently. I was 1.5s off my best time from the first test and Pedrosa was about the same. Once I got to my best lap time today I pretty much stayed at that pace for the rest of the day because the grip wasn’t there. There were a few crashes and it was obvious that we’d got used to the grip that we had at the last test but it wasn’t there and when people started to push they crashed.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Bradley Smith saw his day punctuated by a crash at turn seven but the Oxfordshire rider took it in his stride, accepting it as part and parcel of his MotoGP learning experience.
“This morning was another good learning process for me because the track condition was completely different to the first test. It was dirty and slippery and it meant that I had to ride smoothly, which is how I need to be riding this bike all of the time. I’ve been a little too aggressive but in those conditions I had to ride the bike in a completely different way. The crash was another part of the learning process too. I’d had a couple of warnings in the previous two laps but I kind of shrugged them off because I’m not sure what the limit is. Now I know the limit although a crash is never ideal. I’d done all my laps on the same set of tyres and now I know what the warning signs are I’ll be better prepared in the future.”