Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow has confirmed that he is running the same engines as factory Yamaha teamsters Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo but said that is where the similarity ends between his satellite YZR-M1 and the works equivalents in the garage next door.
The Briton said that almost everything else on his bike is the same as Lorenzo was running at the start of last season and the reason he couldn't stay with Valentino Rossi or the Repsol Hondas at Qatar was down to a fuel-saving electronics map which held him back.
"What happened in Qatar was electronics. We couldn't accelerate out of the last corner and we couldn't hold the slipstream of the factory Hondas because I had hit the fuel-saving switch," said Crutchlow, speaking at Austin.
"If I was riding on my own, I could have done a much faster pace but because the Honda squared the corner, it slowed me up so much I couldn't get out of the corner, so I had no acceleration anyway but if I was riding alone I would have been faster, that was clear to see As soon as I ran off the track, all my fastest sectors were after. That shouldn't happen, fastest sectors should happen at the start of the race.
"They have a different chassis, different tank, different swingarm, different electronics, so the engine is the only thing that is the same.
"But my package is very good. I'm not saying it is worse than theirs because mine is very similar to that which Lorenzo started last year on and he won the race at Qatar - but if we looked in-depth, I ran the same laptimes for the 18 I was at the front as Lorenzo did when he won, it's just that he went faster this year. I do what is the limit of the package and I'm happy with it."
Yamaha race boss Lin Jarvis backed up what Crutchlow said: "Cal's spec of engine is the same as the factory team. So in terms of sheer performance, should be the same. Of course, there are some chassis updates."