British rider Cal Crutchlow has shown off the new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 livery he will race in the 2012 MotoGP world championship at the Jerez circuit in Spain today.
The former World Supersport champion unveiled the new Yamaha YZR-M1 livery on the eve of the final test session in Spain, which gets underway tomorrow (Friday).
Looking ahead to his second season in the premier class, the 26-year-old said: “2012 will be my second season in MotoGP and the second season with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I am really looking forward to it.
"The team has been working great all through the winter and Yamaha has done a fantastic with the new 1000cc YZR-M1. Development never stops and I know Yamaha is continuing to work incredibly hard, so I am convinced I can have a much stronger season in 2012 with their support behind me.
"I learned a lot in my first season and although I still have much less experience than most of my rivals, my target is to be much closer to the front. I have already shown in testing that the 1000cc bike suits my style better and I am able set some very competitive lap times.
"The level of competition though is once again unbelievably high but if I can be close to the factory bikes and be top independent team rider, I will be very happy.”
Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncharal is also confident that Crutchlow can convert impressive pre-season testing performances on the 1000cc bike into a top five challenge during the season.
He was fifth quickest and at the last test in Sepang earlier this month and Poncharal said: “Cal has been outstanding throughout the winter and he is clearly riding with a lot of confidence on the new 1000cc machine.
"His performances so far have raised our expectations and we are optimistic that he will be consistently challenging inside the top five in 2012.”
Crutchlow’s Italian team-mate Andrea Dovizioso said he was looking forward to getting his Yamaha career underway when the new 1000cc era kicks off in Qatar on April 8.
The former 125GP world champion said: “This season is a really important one for me and I am looking forward to going racing after a long winter.
"We can see that Yamaha has done a very good job with the new YZR-M1 1000cc machine and I believe we will be really competitive.
"I found a very good feeling with the bike at the last test in Sepang but I still have a lot of work to do to fully understand it because it is completely new for me. But we can clearly see that the Yamaha is a bike with a lot of potential, so I’m really confident for the season.
"At the same time though we will only see our true potential after the first race in Qatar. I have a lot of motivation for this season after finishing third in the world championship last year, but there are a lot of riders capable of fighting for the title.”