British rider Cal Crutchlow is confident the switch from 800cc to 1000cc for the MotoGP world championship will boost his hopes of fighting consistently for the top six in 2012.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has impressed in two winter test sessions so far having gelled quickly with the new YZR-M1 1000cc machine.
The 26-year-old was fourth quickest on his 1000cc debut in Valencia last November and he was in impressive form again during the opening Sepang test in Malaysia earlier this month.
The former World Supersport champion was third fastest on the opening day and eventually finished seventh.
Crutchlow, who claimed the 2011 Rookie of Year title, told MCN: “The bike is very similar to the 800 just with another 200cc so it has kept it's good points and the 1000 suits me more because I have the power in my hand. If you go one inch off line it is not a big problem whereas with the 800 you had to be so precise.
"I like having the torque and control it with the throttle. I'm enjoying riding this bike and that helps. Last year I was busting my balls for tenth place and it was a difficult year. But when you enjoy riding you go faster."
Despite his positive start to the 1000cc era, Crutchlow is refusing to get carried away as he prepares to head back to Kuala Lumpur for next week’s second Sepang test.
He added: “It's the racing that counts so I'm not really looking at where I am in the standings. In Qatar in a few weeks it will be different. There is still a long way to go but the initial signs are good.”
The second Sepang test kicks off on Tuesday, February 28.