Moto Media

from ... Cal Crutchlow

Having wrapped up the 2010 World Superbike Championship on a 
high in Magny Cours with a race win and a second place finish on my YZF-R1 two weeks ago, I ended his season with the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team by clinching fifth in the standings and claiming the ‘rookie of the year’ title. 

With just a few days rest under my belt I have started my move up 
from World Superbike to MotoGP with Yamaha by getting straight to business, by completing a one and a half day test of the Yamaha YZR-M1 race bike at Yamaha’s test track in Fukuroi, Japan. Despite mixed weather conditions with a damp / wet track I had the opportunity to try the M1 on both full wet and slick Bridgestone tyres, impressing with my speed on the wet test track. I also took some time to practice with the M1’s launch control to test starts.

The M1 felt a lot smaller than my Yamaha R1 superbike. I actually found the positioning more comfortable than the WSB machine. There is a lot of power but it feels very useable, it felt very different to a production based machine in terms of its delivery. In the wet we used the normal steel brakes but when it started to dry I had a chance to try the carbon ones which were cool, I managed to get quite comfortable with them. 

I found the chassis very stiff, it was really easy to change direction and the electronics were really different, even more advanced than the high level I’m used to in Superbike! It was a
shame the weather wasn’t great so I wasn’t able to push to the bike’s full potential, I’m really looking forward to the Valencia test so I can get back on it and give it a proper work out ! 

Whilst in Japan I also took time out to visit The Yamaha Motor Company headquarters and the Communication Plaza in Shizuoka where I had an opportunity to get up close to some of Yamaha’s historic and iconic machinery from past and present. 

The Valencia test will be on the 9th and 10th November. For 2011 I will be entering the MotoGP World Championship in the Yamaha Monster Tech3 team, alongside Colin Edwards.