MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
When someone once congratulated Eddie Lawson for being fastest in practice, the four-time 500 World Champion shrugged his shoulders and said “you don’t get points for practice”. He was right, of course, and it’s the same with testing: no points, no prize money, no nothing, save for a faint feeling of satisfaction.
Certainly, Cal Crutchlow must have left Jerez on Monday evening wearing a faint glimmer of a smile on his face after topping the final pre-season tests.
Sure, conditions weren’t ideal, with just a couple of hours of dry track time on the last day of the three-day session, but his lap time was good, two tenths inside the lap record, and on last year’s ‘bike, too. It put him a fraction ahead of factory Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi, one hundredths down on Crutchlow, and Jorge Lorenzo, another hundredth down, both of them on their 2013 YZR-M1s.
Crutchlow looked good at Jerez. He still has the burning aggression that makes him such a joy to watch, but he’s learned to smooth things out, which is what you need to make the Yamaha go absolutely as fast as it will go. That’s what Lorenzo does, which is why mantequilla (Spanish for butter, as in buttery smooth) is his MotoGP maxim.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.