2013/3/24.  BritainĘs Cal Crutchlow moved atop the timesheets as MotoGP™ pre-season testing drew to a close in Jerez on Monday. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider led the way from Yamaha Factory Racing duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. The third and final day brought yet more rain, although a dryer period in the second half allowed for some much desired laps on Slicks. Crutchlow was quickest before being demoted, but returned to the top in the closing stages; his best effort of 1Ę39.511 was the fastest of the three days in Spain, with Rossi just 14 thousandths of a second slower. In fact, no more than 29 thousandths covered the top three runners. 

“We did some decent lap times and in the end we ran quite consistently, I was pleased,” Crutchlow commented. “I feel good. ItĘs disappointing to manage no more than 70 dry laps over three days, but to be at this pace is good and I think everybody is in a similar boat. “I think it is very difficult to beat the Hondas of Dani (Pedrosa) and Marc (Márquez) at the moment. I think their package is stronger. We know Dani is obviously very confident because he went home today – so he is happy with the bike! We are still working very hard with the Yamaha, but itĘs going to be a big battle in Qatar.” At Factory Yamaha Racing, the pair of MotoGP World Champions worked with an updated chassis – in contrast with Crutchlow who has had few new components to test over the pre-season period. 

Breaking into the top three on the final day was LCR Honda MotoGPĘs Stefan Bradl, who finishes fifth overall, although the German was one of several riders to hit trouble over the course of the test with a crash on Sunday afternoon. Álvaro Bautista was another and on Monday the GO&FUN Honda Gresini man was unable to ride at all, following a crash and consequent hand and knee injuries the previous evening. Fourth overall was Repsol Honda TeamĘs Dani Pedrosa, who – happy with his bike and witnessing more rain on Monday morning – soon decided to end his test early. The two Repsol bikes sandwiched Bradl who was striving to fine-tune an optimum dry weather setup, with 2013 newcomer Marc Márquez sixth from Ducati TeamĘs Andrea Dovizioso. Energy T.I. Pramac Racing TeamĘs Andrea Iannone, Ducati TeamĘs Nicky Hayden and aforementioned Bautista completed the top ten from Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, assessing an assortment of new parts. The 2013 MotoGP™ season will begin under lights, with the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. The first track action starts on Thursday 4th April.

MotoGP Session 3 Finished 
Po.  Name                   Team                      Gap First 
1 CRUTCHLOW C.Monster Yamaha Tech 31:39.511 
2 ROSSI V.Yamaha Factory Racing Team+0.224 
3 BRADL S.LCR Honda MotoGP+0.464 
4 LORENZO J.Yamaha Factory Racing Team+0.594 
5 MARQUEZ M.Repsol Honda Team+0.619 
6 IANNONE A.Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team+0.820 
7 HAYDEN N.Ducati Team+0.859 
8 DOVIZIOSO A.Ducati Team+1.005 
9 PIRRO M.Ducati Test Team+1.370 
10 DE PUNIET R.Power Electronics Aspar+1.460

2013/3/24.  Valentino Rossi moved ahead on yet another rain-affected day at Jerez, topping the Sunday MotoGP™ testing timesheets from Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Monster Yamaha Tech 3Ęs Cal Crutchlow joined his fellow Yamaha riders in the top three. The first half of the day featured little track activity. Although there was no driving rain at that point, the track surface was greasy and semi-dry, meaning neither Slick nor Wet tyres would be completely suitable. 

After three and a half hours, now with a dryer surface, more runners elected to peel out of the pit lane. Rossi was just 15 thousands of a second quicker than Lorenzo, leading the way on his lap of 1Ę39.525. Less than half a tenth separated the top three riders and the final position marked the first time Rossi had topped any MotoGP™ session since first practice for last yearĘs British Grand Prix at Silverstone. “ItĘs not important, but itĘs very important!” Rossi smiled. “To end the day with the best lap time is great, not just because of the position but also because we modified some of the settings of the bike after the first test to adapt the M1 more to my style. ItĘs good because I am able to go faster, like Jorge, in all sectors of the lap. For tomorrow, we have a new chassis with some small differences, so both Jorge and I will try it. We hope to be able to improve our level a bit.” 

Dani Pedrosa was todayĘs leading Repsol Honda Team bike in fourth, ahead of Ducati TeamĘs Andrea Dovizioso who ran several new small parts, as the second Repsol bike of Marc Márquez finished seventh. Sixth was GO&FUN Honda GresiniĘs Álvaro Bautista, who missed over an hour of running following a crash towards the end of the afternoon. While testing different suspension to that of yesterday, the Spaniard lost control at Sito Pons corner and picked up small fractures in the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand; now resting, he will be back in action on Monday morning. LCR Honda MotoGPĘs Stefan Bradl, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing TeamĘs Andrea Iannone and Ducati TeamĘs Nicky Hayden rounded out the top ten, but both the German and Italian endured crashes during the day. Monday brings the last day of pre-season testing before the 2013 MotoGP campaign commences in Qatar on 7th April. 

MotoGP Session 2 

Po.  Name            Team                    Gap First
1 ROSSI V.Yamaha Factory Racing Team1:39.525 
2 LORENZO J.Yamaha Factory Racing Team+0.015 
3 CRUTCHLOW C.Monster Yamaha Tech 3+0.049 
4 PEDROSA D.Repsol Honda Team+0.105 
5 DOVIZIOSO A.Ducati Team+0.797 
6 BAUTISTA A.GO&FUN Honda Gresini+1.161 
7 MARQUEZ M.Repsol Honda Team+1.189 
8 BRADL S.LCR Honda MotoGP+1.258 
9 IANNONE A.Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team+1.563 
10 HAYDEN N.Ducati Team+1.800

Reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo topped the timesheets as the final Official Pre-Season Test commenced in Jerez on Saturday. The day was broken up by numerous heavy rain showers as the Yamaha Factory Racing rider led Repsol Honda Team duo Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez. 

The first half of the day was all but a complete washout. As the session began, sunshine and dark clouds were vying for the circuit as they each covered half of it, but it was the latter which prevailed to bring several, heavy rainstorms. As the showers were intermittent, the field was never treated with either fully wet or dry conditions which resulted in most riders spending much time in their garages; as only four sets of Wet tyres are available for the duration of the test, using them in the transitional conditions posed too much of a threat and overheating was a real possibility. Four hours in, Pedrosa led the way but only nine runners had elected to post a lap time. At the sharp end, LorenzoĘs leading effort was 1Ę47.423 to see off closest challenger Pedrosa by one second, as the varying weather and resulting modified test plans ensured that lap times were more spaced out than usual. Márquez, who had been quickest on all three days at Circuit of the Americas, was on this occasion third as he tackled Jerez with MotoGP machinery for the first time. 

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing TeamĘs Andrea Iannone and the second Yamaha of Valentino Rossi were fourth and sixth, with 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden leading the way for Ducati Team until test rider Michele Pirro progressed up the order to a top five place while running new parts. This left the American in seventh position. Cal Crutchlow jumped ahead of LCR Honda MotoGPĘs Stefan Bradl with less than an hour to go, although the German had crashed a short time before; thankfully he was able to walk away from the scene unaided. The third Ducati Team bike of Andrea Dovizioso completed the top ten.

MotoGP Session 1 

Po.   Name            Team             Gap First 
1 LORENZO J.Yamaha Factory Racing Team1:47.423 
2 PEDROSA D.Repsol Honda Team+1.051 
3 MARQUEZ M.Repsol Honda Team+1.101 
4 IANNONE A.Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team+1.561 
5 PIRRO M.Ducati Test Team+1.869 
6 ROSSI V.Yamaha Factory Racing Team+2.020 
7 HAYDEN N.Ducati Team+2.220 
8 CRUTCHLOW C.Monster Yamaha Tech 3+2.269 
9 BRADL S.LCR Honda MotoGP+2.367 
10 DOVIZIOSO A.Ducati Team+2.843