Photography by Gold & Goose
Valentino who? Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow jumped to fastest overall lap time from the three-day test at the Jerez circuit today, the Brit topping Valentino Rossi’s best from yesterday after waiting for conditions to improve after a morning of rain in Spain.
At the end of the day it was Crutchlow leading the two factory Yamahas of Rossi and defending World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Crutchlow was fast early and fast again late with his 1:39.511 giving him the overall best from the three days. Rossi was just .014 of a second slower with his best coming yesterday. Only .029 covered the top three today.
“We did some decent lap times and in the end we ran quite consistently, I was pleased,” Crutchlow said in a team release. “I feel good. It’s disappointing to manage no more than 70 dry laps over three days, but to be at this pace is good and I think everybody is in a similar boat. I think it is very difficult to beat the Hondas of Dani [Pedrosa] and Marc [Márquez] at the moment. I think their package is stronger. We know Dani is obviously very confident because he went home today – so he is happy with the bike. We are still working very hard with the Yamaha, but it’s going to be a big battle in Qatar.”
Pedrosa did indeed pack up and leave the test today, the Spaniard complaining of a strained neck.
Breaking into the top three on the final day was LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, the German ending up fifth overall. He suffered a crash yesterday.
Álvaro Bautista, meanwhile, was worse off after he crashed yesterday and suffered hand and knee injuries that were serious enough to keep him off the track today
Fourth overall was Pedrosa. Then came Bradl with Marc Márquez sixth over Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team’s Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden and Bautista rounded out the top 10 overall.
Ben Spies, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury, ended up 18th. The Texan didn’t ride today.
The season starts on April 4 under the lights in Qatar.