The final day of the last pre-season MotoGP test, saw Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow’s name not only on top of the timesheets at Jerez, but the British rider also came away with the fastest lap overall during the three days, beating Valentino Rossi’s yesterday’s lap by just 0.014s.
After wasting most of the entire day waiting for the rain to stop and the track to dry out, the real action started a little after 4pm, when most of the riders began to trickle one by one, and lap times began to tumble with Crutchlow grabbing the lead from Jorge Lorenzo and after just four laps.
The final hour of testing seemed to become a qualifying session, with lap times falling and the lead exchanging hands, until Crutchlow did another glorious lap which stopped the clock in 1:39.511, while Valentino Rossi jumped from seventh to second and ended up 0.224s from the satellite Yamaha rider.
Breaking what would have been another Yamaha 1-2-3, was Stefan Bradl. The LCR Honda rider grabbed the third spot edging out Jorge Lorenzo by a little more than a tenth of a second seemingly have solved the lack of confidence that he had with his front end which caused him to crash twice in the last three days.
Marc Marquez seems to have also solved is rear grip issues as he concluded the test in fifth and 0.619 adrift from the top spot.
Following the Repsol Honda rookie was another rookie, Andrea Iannone who lead a bevy of Ducati riders from the 6th to the 9th spot, who were separated from the top by 0.820s to a 1.370s. After Iannone there were factory riders Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and development rider Michele Pirro, respectively.
Missing from this line-up was Ben Spies who didn’t take to track, as didn’t Dani Pedrosa who left the circuit early deciding to skip the third day and Alvaro Bautista who fractured two fingers yesterday in a crash at the Pons corner.
Closing out the top ten was CRT rider Randy de Puniet who finished ahead of the last MotoGP prototype rider Bradley Smith.
In two weeks time MotoGP engines will be revving again and in earnest, as the first round of the season starts on April 7th at the Losail circuit in Qatar.
MotoGP Jerez test - third and final day results:
1 CRUTCHLOW, Cal Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:39.511
2 ROSSI, Valentino Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1:39.735 0.224
3 BRADL, Stefan LCR Honda MotoGP 1:39.975 0.464
4 LORENZO, Jorge Yamaha Factory Racing Team 1:40.105 0.594
5 MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:40.130 0.619
6 IANNONE, Andrea Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team 1:40.331 0.820
7 HAYDEN, Nicky Ducati Team 1:40.370 0.859
8 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:40.516 1.005
9 PIRRO, Michele Ducati Test Team 1:40.881 1.370
10 DE PUNIET, Randy Power Electronics Aspar 1:40.971 1.460
11 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:41.134 1.623
12 ESPARGARO, Aleix Power Electronics Aspar 1:41.218 1.707
13 CORTI, Claudio NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:41.443 1.932
14 AOYAMA, Hiroshi Avintia Blusens 1:41.772 2.261
15 PESEK, Lukas Came IodaRacing Project 1:41.791 2.280
16 ABRAHAM, Karel Cardion AB Motoracing 1:41.864 2.353
17 HERNANDEZ, Yonny Paul Bird Motorsport 1:42.363 2.852
18 PETRUCCI, Danilo Came IodaRacing Project 1:42.428 2.917
19 LAVERTY, Michael Paul Bird Motorsport 1:42.470 2.959
20 STARING, Bryan GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:43.525 4.014
21 EDWARDS, Colin NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:56.281 16.770
22 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Blusens 1:56.897 17.386