MotoGP 2013: GB's Cal Crutchlow fastest in final testing

Crutchlow prepared for 'tough' year

Britain's Cal Crutchlow is feeling confident for the new MotoGP season after topping the timesheets on the final day of pre-season testing.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider pipped the two Yamaha bikes ridden by seven-time winner Valentino Rossi and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo, in Jerez.

Honda's Dani Pedrosa opted not to risk the wet conditions, ahead of the first race of the season in Qatar on 7 April.

"It is very satisfying to finish with the fastest time," said Crutchlow.

"It shows what a really good job I did and what a great job my team did too.

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"It is a shame we didn't get the chance to get in a lot more dry laps, but I have been very fast and consistent and that gives me a lot of confidence for when we return to Jerez for the third race.

"The rain meant the track wasn't in a great condition in the last two hours and I felt I could have definitely gone faster if there was more grip available. But it is the same for everybody and we came out on top, so that's positive.

"It has been a positive pre-season and I think I have shown I have made another big improvement for this year.

"This result gives me a lot of confidence going to Qatar but my goal will be to finish in the top six and get some early momentum like I did last season."

Rossi, back riding for Yamaha after two poor seasons at Ducati, was just 0.0014 seconds slower than Crutchlow, with only 0.0029 covering the top three runners.

Crutchlow's British team-mate Bradley Smith is also hopeful of competing for a top-10 finish on his MotoGP debut in Qatar after completing 25 laps in the wet on Monday before a further 31 when the track dried out.

"I'd have preferred to have done a few more dry laps in testing, but I am confident and optimistic that I can start the season with a strong result," Smith said.

Fastest times from all three sessions at MotoGP testing, Jerez:

1. Cal Crutchlow (GB) Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 39.511sec

2. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha 1:39.525

3. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha 1:39.540

4. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Repsol Honda 1:39.630

5. Stefan Bradl (Ger) LCR Honda 1:39.975

6. Marc Marquez (Spa) Repsol Honda 1:40.130

7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati 1:40.322

8. Andrea Iannone (Ita) Pramac Ducati 1:40.331


13. Bradley Smith (GB) Tech 3 Yamaha 1:41.134