Edwards was thrilled with his work over an exhausting three days as typically searing hot and sunny conditions dominated the test at the 5.5km Sepang circuit.
The experienced American, making final preparations for his ninth MotoGP campaign, spent the entire test working on a range of different geometry settings to find the maximum turning performance with a new YZR-M1 chassis he first evaluated earlier this month in the first Sepang test.
Edwards was also delighted with significant progress in improving rear grip as he concentrated on fine-tuning his set-up to suit the harder option Bridgestone rear tyre rather than pushing for an outright fast lap time. He finished in sixth position overall with a best time 2.00.966 to finish just ahead of reigning World Champion and fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.
Crutchlow was able to show his true potential on the final day after a difficult start to the test, which is the second of three pre-season outings for the British rider. Crutchlow had to overcome a nasty bout of food poisoning picked up on his way to Kuala Lumpur that left him in a weakened physical state for the entire test. Two crashes on the first day were quickly forgotten as he concentrated on making progress with consistency on the hard compound Bridgestone tyre with a range of set-up changes. He also focused on perfecting his riding style and made big strides in adapting to the b raking technique of the Yamaha YZR-M1 machine to finish in 14th position.
Edwards and Crutchlow will be back on track under the spectacular Losail International Circuit floodlights for the conclusion to the winter testing schedule on March 13/14.
Colin Edwards, 6th – 2’00.966:
“This test has been awesome for us and I’ve had a lot of fun, even though the conditions have been really extreme with the heat. I’ve got a lot of experience and I’ve been riding motorcycles forever, but even I’m still learning a lot and I’ve really enjoyed coming here and changing the bike to see what does and doesn’t work. I’ve figured out a lot of things with the new bike and the Bridgestone tyres and I’ve also learned that for an old guy, I’m not finished yet. I spent most of the test working on the new chassis, mainly experimenting with geometry and we made a lot of progress. My team is really smart and together we played around with a few ideas and got the bike to a point where I’m really satisfied. We improved front feeling compared to the last test and we can finish the corner a lot better. I’m really happy with the progress with rear traction too. Yamaha has done a great job and we leave Malaysia tired but with a lot of confidence. I’m now looking forward to getting Qatar and starting the racing.”
Cal Crutchlow, 14th – 2’02.034:
“It has certainly been an eventful week and the good thing is that it ended in positive fashion. The food poisoning I picked up on the way to Sepang didn’t help my preparations and I’ve felt weak all through the test as a result. Two crashes on the first day didn’t help my confidence and day two was a struggle to be honest. We made a lot of changes to the bike without helping me feel more comfortable. My team have b een fantastic though and given me great support and the last day was much better. For the first time I was able to do a decent lap time, but the important thing is I was able to be more consistent and feel more confident with the bike. We made improvements to the front and rear of the bike and I’m pretty happy with a low 2.02. The front felt more stable and while I’d like a bit more rear grip, we’ve made progress in that area as well. Qatar will be another big learning curve for me because I know the track, but I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike there and I’ve never raced under the floodlights. I’m confident with the set-up changes we made here that I’ll be competitive in Qatar too.”
MotoGP Sepang Test – Day 3 Results
- Casey Stoner – 1’59.665
- Dani Pedrosa – 1’59.803
- Marco Simoncelli – 2’00.163
- Andrea Dovizioso – 2’00.541
- Ben Spies – 2’00.678
- Colin Edwards – 2’00.966
- Jorge Lorenzo – 2’01.003
- Alvaro Bautista – 2’01.194
- Hiroshi Aoyama – 2’01.328
- Hector Barbera – 2’01.346
- Valentino Rossi – 2’01.469
- Nicky Hayden – 2’01.469
- Loris Capirossi – 2’01.493
- Cal Crutchlow – 2’02.034
- Randy de Puniet – 2’02.155
- Toni Elias – 2’02.41 0
- Karel Abraham – 2’02.506
[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Racing]