Monster Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow finished the opening day of MotoGP testing at Jerez in fifth place and less than a second slower than reigning world champion Casey Stoner, saying he is happy with the new 1000cc satellite M1 he will campaign, it being more aggressive to ride than the electronics-led 800.
Crutchlow was fastest of the satellite riders, which is something he doesn't want to change any time soon, and lapped in 1'40.130 compared to Stoner's 1'39.146. Alvaro Bautista was his nearest non-works rival in seventh but team-mate Andrea Doviziso was laid low with a stomach bug, so finished up in eighth.
"The bike is close to the factory but it is not the same. They have an upgraded engine and something different with the chassis, even today I hear the brakes are a little bit different, so they have different stuff but I'm happy with what I have got and I ride with what I have got," said Crutchlow, speaking to bikesportnews.com at Jerez.
"I'm not asking for what they have because there is no point. We are a privateer team and the factory gets the stuff first. The first three engines will be a different spec to them but what we have is not bad - I think if you put Jorge on my bike, he would go nearly as quick as he does now anyway. We are still a step down but we're not so far away.
"Everything is more aggressive with this bike. Maybe they (the factory) have a different electronics system but we are catching up to them. We have some things to try. They have some more power but it is easy to wreck the tyre so you have to be really smooth. Compared to Sepang, this is like a kart track, you have to be smooth and always playing with the throttle. I get a hundred per cent throttle in a few places but before (with the 800) you would be on it a lot more.
"I think I am more suited to a big bike. I'm one of the heavier guys but not through lack of trying. I have a stocky build. I can train all I want, diet all I want, I stay the same. These bikes suit me a little bit with my riding style but corner speed is very similar to the 800 but now I have the power in my hand. With the 800, I had to learn ten tracks, I didn't know where the hell I was going, you're already on the back foot and these guys are so precise.
"If I'm towards the front of the privateer bikes, then I'm happy. The aim is to be around that area. Andrea (Dovizioso) is no slouch, he was third last year, people need to look at that as well. It was only the two fastest guys in the world that beat him but I seem to be riding OK at the moment and things are going well."