A new electronics package on Andrea Dovizioso’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine helped the Italian top the timesheets at the end of today’s MotoGP test at the Catalunya track.
Boosted by his first Yamaha rostrum in yesterday’s race, Dovizioso tested new electronics and a revised YZR-M1 engine spec on his way to setting a quickest pace of 1.41.997.
That put him 0.146s clear of factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies and the former Repsol Honda rider told MCN: “I am happy because we tried new electronics and this was the main point where we improved. It doesn’t change the speed but it is better for the life of the tyre and the control when the grip does down. It is easier to control the spin and this is important and something I didn’t have in the race. It is a small improvement but it is something (Jorge) Lorenzo already had and always you hope to have a bigger difference because when I saw him during the race he was much faster. But it is because he is really fast and he knows very well the Yamaha and he uses the maximum potential of the bike. He is still faster than me in the middle of the corner. In the middle of the corner to the exit he makes the difference and when you are faster on the exit everything is better. If we had these electronics in the race it is better. It is better especially for traction when you pick up the bike.”
Dovizioso said the new engine spec offered no improvement on the motor he has been using in the first five races and he added: “The difference is so small and it has better and worse points, so very similar to what I use now. The power is a little bit more in the part where you have strong acceleration but when you shift and the rpm goes down, the first part is slower, but for the lap time it is the same.”
Spies was testing a brand new Yamaha motor but reported only minimal improvement as Yamaha seek to improve on its acceleration.
Yesterday’s race winner Lorenzo also said he couldn’t tell the difference between the old and new spec engine on his way to clocking the eighth best time. The Spaniard finished with a best time of 1.42.635 to finish just over 0.6s behind Dovizioso.
Dani Pedrosa was fifth quickest and deeply unhappy with the decision to roll out a new softer construction front tyre from Silverstone onwards.
The Spaniard said it was bordering on dangerous as he has such severe front-end chatter that his RC213V is hard to control on corner entry.
Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner voiced his concerns about it too; saying the change to the new tyre was unnecessary, as nobody had previously complained about the previous standard version.
The Aussie was sixth with a best time of 1.42.369 that was 0.372s behind Dovizioso.
Cal Crutchlow bounced back from a huge 125mph crash on only his second lap this morning to finish seventh.
He completely destroyed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and lost skin off his right leg and back when he fell heavily at Turn 4.
Heavy overnight rain had left damp patches scattered around the track and Crutchlow said: “It was my fault because we knew there was likely to be some water under the bridge at Turn 4 after the overnight rain. The problem is you can't see the wet patch and as soon as I touched the brakes I crashed. It was a very fast crash and I've lost some skin on my r right leg and back. Luckily though I am fine and I was able to go back out and build up my confidence again.”
There was little cheer for Ducati and Valentino Rossi fans after the Italian finished 11th.
He set a best time of 1.43.252 to finish 1.2s off the pace. He tested the new aluminium swingarm that delivered such positive results during a recent test at Mugello but it created severe front-end chatter and he said today ‘wasn’t very positive.”