Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow believes the MotoGP world championship will be a greater spectacle for everybody with Valentino Rossi challenging for victories in 2013.
The Italian quickly shrugged off a disastrous two-year spell with Ducati to set the third fastest time on an impressive return to Yamaha's factory squad in Malaysia last week.
Rossi was only just over 0.4s behind Dani Pedrosa’s best pace to calm his own nerves and doubts about whether he would still be competitive on a factory YZR-M1 he will ride alongside reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo this year.
Crutchlow, who finished fifth in the Sepang test, says a fast and competitive Rossi capable of adding to his 79 premier class victories is good for fans and the 33-year-old’s rivals.
Rossi scored just three podium finishes in 35 races on board the struggling Ducati Desmosedici but speaking exclusively to MCN, Crutchlow said: “Valentino is still one of the fastest guys on the grid and he has got the best record and he will be motivated.
I think it will be very, very difficult for him to beat Lorenzo on the same machine but I do believe he will be back to his best. It will be good to see because everybody wants to have him back at the front.
It’s not only the fans that want to see it but also the other riders. He gives great competition at the front and he makes the racing exciting. Valentino is always going to battle and for me there’s no reason why he can’t win races again.”
For more exclusive Crutchlow reaction to last week’s Sepang test, see the February 13 issue of Motor Cycle News.