Bradley Smith says Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate Cal Crutchlow’s impressive winter testing form is providing the perfect motivation for him to quickly improve in his rookie MotoGP campaign.
Crutchlow ended the 2013 pre-season in stunning style in Jerez yesterday (Monday) when he clocked the fastest time of a rain-hit three-day session.
A best lap of 1.39.511 put Crutchlow 0.014s clear of nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi and his latest brilliant performance is also providing new teammate Smith with plenty of inspiration too.
Smith might have only finished 13th on the timesheets in Jerez but he was only just over a second away from fellow rookie and factory Honda rider Marc Marquez, who was sixth.
A gap of 1.623s split Crutchlow and Smith, who is still trying to adapt his riding style to suit the YZR-M1 after a two-year spell in the ultra-competitive Moto2 class.
But the Oxfordshire rider reckons Crutchlow’s outstanding form is good motivation going into the new 2013 campaign, which starts in Qatar on April 7.
Speaking to MCN in Jerez last night, Smith said: “Cal keeps me pushing forward because I can see where the benchmark is. I can also see the data and overlay it and see what exactly is going on and you can’t ask for more than that.”
Smith also believes that Crutchlow’s speed at the front of the pack will ease some of the pressure on him as he tries to establish himself inside the top 10 in the early part of the season.
He added: “I can also come in under the radar and carry on with my own work. This is a big team and there is lot of expectation from being in it. Cal’s providing that right now and I am allowed to go pressure free into the season, which is a nice position to be in.”