Cal Crutchlow plays down Jerez speed

British rider Cal Crutchlow played down his eye-catching performance on the second day of testing at the Jerez track in Spain today after he finished third quickest behind factory Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

After yesterday’s torrential rain the surface didn’t dry out until after 1pm today, but former World Supersport champion Crutchlow was immediately fast and found himself lapping in second place before times started to drop as track conditions and grip levels improved.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider managed to set a best time of 1.39.574 in a 44-lap run and that put him right on the tail of Rossi and Lorenzo.

Italian Rossi had a brilliant day as a lap of 1.39.525 put him on top of the timesheets. But Crutchlow was only 0.049s behind the nine-times world champion and 0.034s behind Lorenzo on a day dominated by Yamaha.

Crutchlow finished 0.105s clear of Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa but he played down his performance.

He said: “Experience I think is the key. Last year I was a lot more consistent than my first year and it seems the same again this year. I’m on the pace and I can keep the same pace all of the time. And I’m pleased because I was fast straightaway in the rain and straightaway quick in the dry.

"But I am not taking anything from it. It is only 40 laps in Jerez but to do 40 laps and be faster than last year is a positive. As I’ve always said my package is not bad but it is not what the others have got and it could be better.

"But pace wise I am consistent and can do the same lap times as them with a new or old tyre. There is not much more I can be asked to do.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt