Cal Crutchlow finally got chance to make a thorough assessment of a new Yamaha engine and revised electronics package during a successful one-day test at the Motorland Aragon track in Spain yesterday.
The British rider got the new parts for Monday’s test session at the Catalunya track, but a high-speed crash on only his second lap prevented him from drawing any definite conclusions about the slightly more powerful YZR-M1 engine or electronics.
Battered and bruised from the Catalunya accident, Crutchlow still managed to complete 67-laps at the Motorland Aragon circuit in sweltering heat and the 26-year-old set the third fastest time behind factory Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.
He set a best time of 1.49.687 to finish exactly 0.5s behind Lorenzo, who headed the leaderboard with a fastest pace of 1.49.187.
Crutchlow will have access to the new electronics for his home race at Silverstone next weekend, but the updated engine spec won’t be ready until the second half of the season.
The former World Supersport champion told MCN: “It has been a good test. I’m happy with the steps with the electronics and the engine though we won’t use the engine immediately because our allocation is set for a while.”
When he topped the timesheets during a one-day test at Catalunya on Monday, Crutchlow’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Andrea Dovizioso said the new electronics improved rear tyre endurance and also helped him have more control on worn rubber.
Crutchlow though added: “It’s not like a new traction control system, it is just how the power is delivered. I don’t really feel that benefit. It is better for me mid-corner because when you open the gas it is a bit smoother.
"It is hard to say they work well with old tyres but we haven’t tested them with the new engine and that has got a little bit more power, so in all honestly you’ll probably slide the same. I definitely feel they are an improvement so we will continue to work with them from now on.”
The new engine had good and bad points according to Crutchlow and he said: “It has more acceleration compared to what I am used to but it is not as fast at the top end, so we struggle a little bit in fourth, fifth and sixth gear.
"With our current engine we struggle off the corner but in fourth, fifth and sixth it is not so bad. If we use it we might struggle for top speed at some tracks but we won’t be using it for a while anyway.”